We hear too much of it lately. Last week in our suburban Orlando community, a man went into a beauty salon with a gun, killed his girlfriend and two others, then went home and turned the gun on himself. In light of these kinds of events a community feels helpless.
Within a day or two, one of the local pastors contacted me asking if we might want to get other clergy together and have a prayer vigil. So we did some quick planning, inviting, and writing. We brought members of our churches. First responders attended. The mayor of our city was there. Media covered the event as well.
We did the only thing that could be done in such a seemingly helpless and hopeless situation. We prayed.
After the vigil, everything honestly seemed the same. People milled around. The family’s of the victims were still missing their loved ones. Reporters did some more interviewing. The fire truck and ambulance pulled away. A few people left remembrances at the front of the beauty salon.
Everything was actually now different. Faithful people prayed. The Lord listened. And He will answer those prayers. He promises to do so.
We prayed for healing, peace, for our first responders, and for hope. I, for one, believe that the Lord is the One who gives all of those gifts:
- Those who hurt are healed by His grace, sometimes using the instrument of modern medicine or psychological therapy, sometimes using miraculous means.
- Those who need peace will receive it from the only source of true peace.
- First responders are themselves a gift from God. He uses them to protect us and to bring us help when we need it.
- Those who need hope, even in desperate situations will receive it from the promise of eternal life through Jesus who gave His life to secure certain and lasting hope.
In the end, we didn’t make a difference. A difference was made because God was and is present through His Word which brings healing, peace, protection, and hope.
Where do you see the need for a difference to be made?