I live in Denver & yesterday we had another school shooting in a Denver suburb. It’s very unsettling to us because our city went through the Columbine school shooting 20 years ago, the Aurora theater shooting, etc. This kind of event triggers bad memories & feelings in us, causing some to have panic attacks, experience crippling fear, reliving PTSD experiences and lots of other stuff. And it’s a very disturbing development in our country that schools have become unsafe and places to express violence, aggression, combative and hostile behaviors.
To this end, we all have experiences in our lives that have been traumatic and various things can be triggers to catapult panic, anxiety, fear, pain, etc into the front of our thoughts and feelings. While these emotions can natural and honest, let’s also be careful to bring these feelings and events to Jesus for prayer, help, courage, strength and grace. And let’s pray for the people who are going through these traumatic experiences – may God give them grace, strength, wisdom and clarity to navigate this turbulent season / experience for peaceful resolution and redemptive outcomes!
On Sunday, there was a massive fight among biker gangs in Waco, TX and it became extremely violent in a matter of seconds. Law enforcement officials are now concerned that gang members from neighboring states and affiliated gang coalitions are now heading toward Texas to pick up the conflict and defend the honor of their gang members and associates. Clearly, this is a bad situation and without some clear and rational thinking, this situation could deteriorate even further. So let’s keep in mind a few helpful things:
pray: pray that peace would prevail and that any plans of the devil would be put to confusion
conflict: consider that with the Holy Spirit’s help, conflict can be more constructive than destructive
get the word out: if biker gangs can be highly motivated to defend honor, then let us as followers of Jesus be highly motivated to live our love out loud & not with quiet back room whispers
Most of us are aware of the decision of the Grand Jury yesterday with the case related to Michael Brown’s death, along with the resulting rioting, demonstrations and violence. I’ve been thinking and praying about this for quite awhile & I’m extremely concerned about what is happening in St Louis.
I’m concerned because there has obviously been a problem that’s been growing there for quite awhile and Michael Brown’s death and the resulting Grand Jury decision is possibly the match that has ignited such a violent outburst of anger and frustration.
I’m concerned because our nation has had a tumultuous journey in resovling ethnic conflicts.
And I’m concerned to my core because the idea that violence can solve injustices has never proven to be a constructive road for progress and resolution.
When you look at history in the last century, some of our best leaders who were catalysts for constructive change in very unjust situations include: Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. As we commit to pray for Ferguson and the construtive resolution to this area, let’s consider the wise words of Martin Luther King Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
May Jesus help us to bring peace where there is strife, love for hate, restoration for destruction and reconcilation for isolation.