Thursday, December 3, 2015

After yesterday's shootings, I am lamenting . . .

I am tired.
I am numb.
I am in grief.
And I am lamenting.

I am borrowing some words from the book of Daniel, from the book of Ezra, from the book of Habakkuk, and from my own thoughts.  For what it's worth, this is Tina's Psalm of lament:

Oh, God, I am too ashamed to lift up my head to you.  For we have acted wickedly.  We have not kept your commands to love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I shake my fist and demand to know why the way of the wicked prospers.  And yet, I know this is not your fault.  It is the fault of us, who go our own way, ignore you, ignore what you would have us to do.  We ignore your love.  We ignore your commands.  We wish to go our own way and do things our way, what seems right in our own eyes.  We do not look to you for guidance.

My sin is great and the sin of my people, of this country, is great.  I struggle with pride, with prejudice, with judgmentalism, with believing that I am better than others.  And I struggle with believing that you will listen and answer prayers according to what is best.

We honor what is vile among men, and that is why wicked people freely strut about.

I cry out for the souls of those who were lost yesterday, for the souls that have been lost in too many shootings this year, for the souls of those who commit murder, especially those that commit murder and acts of terror and claim that it is in Your name.

I cry out for those who would heap blame on groups of people when it is only certain members of those groups that are guilty of such acts.

I cry out for those who are fleeing evil, and for those who don't want "those people" anywhere near them.

I cry out for your justice, and for your mercy, and for your action.

Please listen.  Please, if it is your will, please save this nation before it is too late.

For us who are Christians -- for me, because I claim to be Christian -- make us, make me, your hands and feet.  It is only in that way that we -- that I -- will ever be able to show the love of Christ, the love that compelled him to die for us, and the love that compels us -- that should compel me -- to love him and to serve others.

Help us not to hate.  Help us to be fearless in condeming evil, but compassionate towards those who commit the evil.  Help us to erase the hate and the prejudice.  Help us only to commit love in the name of Christ, not evil.  Help us to be prudent, and yet compassionate and fearless.

I weep.  I lament.  This is a time of lament and not of rejoicing.  It is a time of grief.  For we have sinned, for I have sinned, and we -- and I -- desperately need your forgiveness.  We -- I -- do not deserve your grace that you give as a gift to us.  But we -- but I -- need it.

I can do nothing more but throw myself upon your mercy as a compassionate and merciful God and pray, and beg, please listen.  Please act.

I know that the Lord is good, and his mercies are from generation to generation.  As angry and impatient as I get with you, and as angry as I have often been over events in my life, time and time again you have shown your mercy and your grace by granting me blessings I do not deserve, by answering prayers in spite of my attitude and my unbelief.

Your mercy is great, and you are a God of compassion.
You are holy, and cannot tolerate sin.
I grieve, I lament, for my sin; for our sins.
Father, forgive us, for we know not what we do.

In the name of Jesus, may this be so.

Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.

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