A school shooting in Florida: A prayer

Dear Rebecca:

Horrific news: “At least 17 people were killed Wednesday in a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said.”

You’ll forgive me if I dust off the prayer – which never gets too dusty – that I turn to at these times:

Lord, forgive me.

Lord, forgive me my need to make a point right away when tragedy happens instead of taking a moment to lament and grieve.

Lord, forgive me my refusal to see the fears that other people have and to understand how those fears shape their responses to each other, and to the tragedies of the day.

Lord, forgive me for failing to discern evil where it exists, and for inferring evil from mere disagreement.

Lord, forgive me for the anger that springs up in my heart when people refuse to give me and my friends the benefit of the doubt.

Lord, forgive me my failure to give the benefit of the doubt.

Lord, forgive me for any action that compounds the evil of an evil act.

Lord, guide me to help create peace and diminish injustice where evil is done.

Lord, forgive me my refusal to shut the hell up.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Lord: Comfort and bless the families of those who suffer tonight.

Amen.

Justice. Above all else, justice. But justice tempered with love, mercy, and grace.

-Joel

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