Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

How Long, O Lord?

By Aimee Goldmeyer, New London Presbyterian Church | Nov 10, 2017

When I first read the news about the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday, Nov. 5, I immediately checked the validity of the story and then the questions began.

What, if anything, did I need to say or do in response? Was prayer enough? What about the congregation I serve — did we need policies and procedures about this or other emergencies that might arise? What in the world would make someone do such a thing? And why does this keep happening? Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers!

How long, O Lord, will you let this go on? When will we stop waking up to news of death, destruction and chaos in the world? Where is the hope for a better future? How can we make this stop? In what ways am I complicit in the norms that lead to this? Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.

As much as I wish I could find them, the answers to my questions remain elusive and hidden, and so all I can do at this point is pray. Pray for mercy, wisdom, justice and forgiveness. Pray for comfort, strength and guidance for moving forward.

Pray for each person impacted by this and those of us searching for the correct response. Pray for the courage and strength to act so that, hopefully, this may never happen again. Over and over, stay focused on God.

Called to love the God I worship with all that I am and to love my neighbor as myself, I seek to act each day in ways that offer kindness, respect, and dignity to all that I meet. So, in addition to prayer, I’m going to get up each day and do the best that I can to change the world one small act at a time.

Where experiences differ from mine, I’m going to listen, read and seek to understand. Whenever possible, I’m going to stand in solidarity with those the world seeks to dismiss and strive for deepening relationships.

What will you do to ensure that the world we live in becomes the best one it can be? Will you be vulnerable and allow others to be vulnerable with you? Will you seek to better understand your neighbors’ experiences and do something kind at least once a day? Will you advocate for policies you believe best serve all citizens, especially those most often silenced?

I don’t have answers for what happened over the weekend or any other time someone chose hatred over love, yet I believe that is not the end of the story. Love will triumph one day and we will be the better for it.

Wherever you find yourself, love kindness, do justice, walk humbly with your God, and celebrate the blessings in your life, whatever they may be. Take time to rest when you must, seek and offer forgiveness, and give all you have to offer each and every day. Amen.

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