Words of grief and prayers to God seem inadequate in the moments after the horrific shooting massacre in Las Vegas on Sunday night. But prayer is the way Christians instinctively respond in the most awful and gut wrenching circumstances.
As a fourth-grade child I remember the moment when my mother gathered my sister and I into her arms and told us that our cousin had just been killed in a snowmobile accident. I was in the middle of doing my farm chores. Sobbing in shocked unbelief, the only response our bodies could make was to fall on our knees, there in the middle of a barn, and pray to God in heartbroken anguish.
I don’t remember what we prayed, except that I was crying uncontrollably, and between our sobbing and tears we asked God to help us. In the days that followed there were other things to do and other ways that we responded. But our first response was prayer.
In the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings, the instinctive response of Christians is to pray. We pray because we have a Father whom we can hold onto and cry to. We pray because we have a Father who shares our grief. We pray because we have a Father who is bigger and more powerful than the terrible-ness of this world.
Imagine the tears on the face of God as he grieves that 59 of his created children had their life ruthlessly snatched away. Imagine his heart as he feels the searing pain of loss felt by those 59 families.
Like a loving, earthly father who wraps his arms around a child who’s heart has been broken, and embraces their body with comfort and compassion, so is our Father God. Our divine Father yearns for us to know that he desperately wants to take our pain from us.
Some who do not know the Father are upset that Christians’ seem to only pray, but then we don’t do anything after that. They are right; praying isn’t enough, but it’s the right place to start.
By Carl Nelson, President Transform Minnesota
October 2, 2017