God of peace and presence,
today the news shocked us again
as bullets flew from a gun
and vibrant lives were again lost.
The persons in that processing center
most likely weren’t too thrilled to be there.
Of course they were servants, called to the task
of representing their nation in battle,
and so they came
filling out the paperwork in preparation for a trip,
knowing that soon they would be in harms way in a foreign land.
Little did they know that harm would come to them here at home.
Little do any of us know of the demons inside that are leading men (for they are usually men)
to pull out a gun and begin firing.
These demons fester quietly in the background,
and as a result, good men and women die.
Be with those good men and women who have survived,
and comfort those who have had to say goodbye far too early.
Give them the assurance of your love and grace in the midst of their pain and tragedy.
And God, somewhere tonight, locked to a hospital bed, is a man filled with demons.
We don’t know what was going through his head, but whatever it was, it wasn’t right.
Comfort this one too, this child of yours, who somehow lost his mind along the way
and became convinced that killing was an acceptable act.
Fill him with the light of your grace that he may come to his senses and realize what he has done.
May we who judge him consider the possibility that God’s plan is to forgive,
even when we can’t and shouldn’t forget.
God this has been a painful day,
so as night comes, bring forth rest,
that all the world might be comforted and restored by your love.