I was headed to a local coffee shop with a friend, when we heard on the radio that a shooting had taken place. It wasn’t until we arrived at the coffee shop that we discovered four Marines had been killed.
Where the shooting took place is not too far from my apartment. To think that I’ve passed this place for years, and that I have even seen the inside of the recruiting office, really sobered me. But the questions soon started rolling and the mystery of it all was heavy.
It still is.
The only thing I could think was,
I know how you feel, Charleston. At least in some measure.
I want to be angry and protest and scream and curse.
But I’ve discovered that my bewilderment has come from a place of knowing that I had absolutely no control over the situation. That I was powerless and could do nothing to stop this massacre. That I have no power within myself to know that this was going to happen.
To know, really, that I am not God after all.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t live that way sometimes. That I can do anything and befriend anyone and control everything. That I have all the answers. But it’s these moments of tragedy that seem to rescue me. Some will say that it’s blasphemous or insensitive to say such a thing. But if they aren’t rescuing me, then I have no hope.
And that’s why we need prayer.
Because I struggle to believe what I’ve just written, and I know I’m not alone. Pray For Chattanooga is not a slogan for religious carelessness, but soul-mindfulness. We are deeply sensitive people and we are so prone to wander in despair and give up.
Our energy has been spent, and no power in this world can rescue us. We need the presence and hospitality of Another World.
Please pray that we would throw ourselves into the mercy of who Jesus is for us, and that we would remember that because Jesus died for us we are free to grieve and doubt and hurt.
There’s nothing new to say here. We are in this together and I hope we can rest in the Gospel as our sufficiency in this dark hour.