“We are all affected, all our worlds have been shattered by momentary chaos, and as a community we must begin to reconstruct a semblance of what our world was before these events.”1
Our God, we find it difficult to speak, to gather the inner groaning our of hearts into words–Spirit, intercede for us. We come to You as the one who “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3). Despite our great distance from those suffering, we recognize our solidarity with them as those who bear the marks of a Creator of love. We do not understand, cannot comprehend, these tragic events–these grotesque manifestations of evil. We ask, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not save?” (Habbakuk 1:2).
Yet let each of us recognize in the face of these brutalized victims the face of the God who suffered with them. May we see in each one the face of Christ crucified–God put to death by the same incomprehensible darkness that brought the blackest midnight to this campus. Let us hope–let the families and friends hope–in the triumph of God over death and all forms of evil. Our hearts break with them for the day when You will wipe every tear from our eyes, the day when all death, mourning, crying and pain will pass away, the day when all things will be made new (Revelation 21:4-5).
As we await that day that but faintly dawns, teach us to comfort those in agony with the comfort with which You have comforted us (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Sensitize us to the suffering of our world, and give us grace by Your Spirit to enter the suffering of the world for the sake of its redemption. Pour forth Your love into our hearts by Your Spirit, that it may pour forth from us into the mourning and heartbroken (Romans 5:5). Be to each of the affected, we pray, the God who heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. May there be peace in this time of unspeakable violence. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, the Prince of Peace. Amen.