Today a mother mourns. Her mourning is intensified by the fact that her circumstances have been broadcast to the world with millions weighing in, giving their uninvited thoughts, opinions, and judgments. She mourns a decision made that withholds a comfort she sought. She will continue to be in the spotlight to a certain degree, people clamoring to know what she thinks and how she feels and what she will do next. But when the noise stops and all is quiet, she is alone mourning the loss of hopes and dreams for this life that she loved. No matter his choices, good or bad, she loved him and she longs to see him and touch him again.
Across town, only a few miles away sits a woman who mourns. She doesn’t know the family in the news and her picture and story are not in the headlines. Her business was burned to the ground by people she didn’t know, angry about circumstances she couldn’t change, and she’s lost a dream she built and her only means of support. She looks at her children with an aching love that fears she will not be able to feed them and worries about how she will protect them from such a heartless world.
A young man awakes today exhausted from yielding to emotions that seemed too intense to control. He sees the news reports and the realization sets in that innocent people are suffering losses they didn’t deserve because of his choices. He regrets his actions and mourns the loss of his own innocence, no longer a child but a man who has purposely lashed out at people he doesn’t know because of his own frustration, his own pain.
Another man mourns the loss of the life he had before that fateful day. Whether his actions were right or wrong, his life and the life of so many others will never be the same. The decision meant to set him free rings somewhat hollow as he knows his every move will be scrutinized, his reputation permanently altered. The future that once looked so promising now seems tainted and uncertain.
As I watched the news this morning, those images formed in my mind. I don’t know all the facts and certainly don’t know the people involved. But I found myself mourning, experiencing a grief and sadness for people I don’t know caught up in a maelstrom that I cannot make sense of. I asked God “What can I do? What do I pray? How do I, from the comfort and safety of my home, help these who are in such desperate circumstances?”
Mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
We mourn with those who are hurting. It’s not about our opinions of what is right or wrong, who is to blame and who is innocent. It’s about the love of God that transcends our humanity and loves us in spite of it all. His love is not offered to only those who do good, but to all. We are to be the vessels of that love and pour it out on ALL. We cannot pick and choose who deserves it and who does not. It is not earned, but a free gift to all who will take it.
What could happen today if rather than involving ourselves in heated debates, social media outbursts, or political rants, we set aside our opinions and we prayed? Pray for them, ALL of them, and know that somehow in all that is the mystery of God’s ways, He is working in their lives as we agree on this one thing:
He is their Hope, their Healer, their Comfort, their Salvation.
Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good. Romans 12:21
Pray that they will find Him in the midst of their pain and confusion and fear. This is the good that will overcome the evil.