John T. Willis

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fort Hood Tragedy

We were all shocked and mesmerized by the horrible homicides at Fort Hood, in which a man murdered eleven innocent people and hurt 34 more. It is beyond our comprehension to understand how anyone could commit such a crime. Our emotions are in turmoil. We become angry. We are frustrated. Our hearts go out to the numerous families who have been affected. Where do we turn? How do we cope with such terrible actions?

Through history, people have done similar terrible events. Adolf Hitler murdered millions of innocent Jewish people in the early months of World War II. Herod murdered several members of his own family. Henry VIII is notorious for such crimes. We just cannot imagine why people do such terrible things.

Walter Brueggemann wrote a prayer addressed to this kind of events. Perhaps this will be helpful. Brueggemann entitles this prayer: God's Gift in the Midst of Violence.

The world trembles out of control.
The violence builds,
some by terrorism,
some by state greed
dressed up as policy,
violence on every side.

You, in the midst of the out-of-control violence,
We confess you steadfast, loyal, reliable,
but we wonder if you yourself are engaged in brutality.
We confess you to be governor and ruler,
but we wonder if you manage.

We in the midst of out-of-control violence,
we in great faith,
we in deep vocational call,
we in our several anxieties.
We--alongside you--in the trembling.

This day we pray for freedom to move
beyond fear to caring,
beyond self to neighbor,
beyond protection to growth,

That we may be a sign of steadfastness,
that anxiety may not win the day.

You are the one who said, "Do not be anxious."
And now we submit to you.

As each of us face our tragedies, the only place to turn is to God for strength, for help, for comfort, for healing, for hope.

Share YOUR experiences and thoughts with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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