By Andy Hale, CBF New Church Starts Initiative
This has been a challenging week for those who take very serious the words of Jesus that calls us to see God in each person.
From Bangladesh to Baghdad, from Minnesota to Louisiana, and from Dallas to the places in the world that will experience death and destruction today, it is overwhelming to see pain, hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration, hatred, indifference, and fear in the eyes of others.
There is an incalculable chipping away at our soul when death occurs, whether it be the life of a Muslim in Iraq, an African American or Caucasian in the United States, members of the LGBTQ community in Orlando, or the nameless people who will succumb to the endless injustice in the world. Our heart, mind, and soul should feel the devastation.
May the compassion of Christ overwhelm us to be hope among hopelessness, to mourn with those who mourn, to bring joy among sorrow, to cast seeds of faith among indifference, to stand against injustice for those who do not have the strength, to seek meaningful reconciliation amidst discord, and to be agents of love among hatred.
By CBF Kentucky
My heart is heavy. My prayers are prayers of lament. Too many lives lost in the past days. My prayers must become action. This man, Dr. Kevin Cosby, has helped me see, for the first time, the world and our nation through the lens of Black Americans. Pray for Dr. Cosby and other EmpowerWest leaders as they meet with the mayor of Louisville on Monday. Maybe together, black and white people of faith, we can breathe some measure of healing into our brokenness.
By Taisha Seabolt, CBF Global Missions
My heart is truly saddened by the recent events that have occurred. As I sit here grieving the lives that were lost/taken, my heart aches for the families and friends—loved ones who will forever be impacted by evil. Violence is not and will never be the answer to anything…except more violence and destruction. I am grieving, but more than that, I know God is grieving. Here we are, His special creation, His people and yet, we are killing each other. No one has the right to take another person’s life. And yes, I am angry, hurt, upset, frustrated…what have we come to that a person’s life can just be snatched away because of “fear” and hate???
As a Christian, I am called to love and to reflect the love of Christ. On this day, I believe we are called to love even more! Love those who may not look like us, love those whose opinions differ from ours, and especially love those whose anger and hate reflect something opposite of love. My heart grieves…my heart is heavy. I cannot adequately put it into words what my heart is speaking and feeling. My prayer and hope is that we do not give into the darkness and anger and hurt but be transformed by them. Let us be the people who stand up and speak up and PRAY up for what is right. Love is what is right and I pray that we will stand as witnesses to the awesome power of love. This has been and continues to be a turning point for our nation. Let’s do what we have been called to do…and be!
Ginger Wilder Heidel, Member, FBC Savannah, Ga.
I went to sleep last night with the terrible news from Louisiana and Minnesota. Woke up to the terrible news from Dallas. I want to do something, but I feel helpless. I want to find a way to show the African-American community that I love and respect them. To show the police community that I love and respect them too.
And as a mother, at first I wanted to shield my daughter from all the ugliness, the hate and the fear. But instead, we talked. We talked about what happened. We talked about racism. About power. About respect. We talked about being kind and about loving everyone – EVERYONE. And we talked about surrounding ourselves with other loving people, and not being friends with those who encourage hate.
It’s not much and it’s not enough, but it’s something I can do. I can try to raise a child who will grow up to be a loving adult, and if enough parents do this maybe one day our children will tip the scales in favor of peace.
Editor’s Note: Cooperative Baptists, e-mail us your prayers and reflections to be included here on CBFblog (www.cbf.net/blog). E-mail them to Aaron Weaver