Bloodshed in our classrooms is is erupting again. I confess that I am angry about this. I am overwhelmed with grief, and I am also afraid at times. I fear for my own child in a school, for the people attending worship services, for all of us just doing what we do in the course of life but always under the dark shadow of gun violence. I long for the day when no more tears will have to be shed and funerals held for children slain in a school. I long for the day when the horrifying images of dead bodies strewn in school hallways and classrooms won’t be on our screens. I long for the day when we won’t have to pray about emergency surgeries for the surviving victims of the attacker. I long for the day when political leadership will work together across their ancient and well-funded divisions to create a more safe and beautiful culture. I know the day of perfect peace and the end of all tears and sorrow awaits the consummation of the age to come, and I long for that too. How long O Lord? Yet you command us to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with you in the present age with its wars, rumors of wars, and diabolical impulses that seek to slaughter the defenseless and crush the weak. Teach us Lord to work for change while we weep and to demand action while we mourn; teach us O Lord to comfort all who are hurting and to do all we can to prevent such outrages occurring again. Grant us civic leaders who will work for peace and safety more than they bow to the influence peddlers. Grant us in our pain the knowledge that your pain is greater still. Grant to all who weep and groan in Florida today the light of your presence and the power of your hope. Sustain all Pastors, Priests, Rabbis, Imams and Counselors who work with those overwhelmed by fear, sorrow, and unspeakable grief. Grant wisdom and strength to school teachers and administrators and counselors who serve our children as educators and have often perished as well at violent hands as they sought to protect the young. Grant we pray decisive and astonishing success to all those medical personnel who seek to heal the broken bodies of the surviving victims. Grant O Great Physician your healing for our broken hearts. Deliver us from evil I pray. Amen.
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