Yesterday afternoon, I was in a prayer gathering with the elders of our church. Each Monday afternoon, we meet to pray for specific people in our church family as well as others for whom we have been asked to pray.
At one point, we prayed for the people involved in the Tucson tragedy.
Later, as I thought about the events of the day, it occurred to me that as we prayed we were simply doing what Christ-followers everywhere have been called to do. Many, many people throughout the country have been praying for these people.
That evening I turned on the news. There were many voices, and intense concerns were being expressed. Some spoke regarding the present day political climate. Some talked about the need to reflect on our political rhetoric. Still others addressed mental health issues in this country (as the shooter apparently had severe mental problems). There was analysis, speculation, and debate. T
here was also projecting, blaming, and defending.
Should Christian people be involved in such conversations? Of course. Christian people have opinions, perspectives, and the opportunity to communicate in a reasonable, civil, and balanced manner.
Yet those who follow Christ must never forget the call to be faithful in prayer. Think for a moment about those who were injured or killed. The following are people who we need to continue to pray for:
1. The recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and all who were injured. We also need to pray for their families who have just been through a horrifying experience with their loved one.
2. The parents of 9-year-old Christina Green who must now plan a funeral for their daughter. The teachers and classmates of this same young girl who must be heartbroken as they return to school and see her empty chair.
3. The family of Judge John Roll.
4. The family of Dorwan Stoddard and the people who make up the 120 member Mountain Avenue Church of Christ as they mourn his death. Meanwhile, they seek to encourage and care for his wife, Mavy, who was injured in the incident.
5. The families of the others who died.
While many in this country debate various issues that this tragedy surfaced, I really hope we do not forget these 19 people–some who died and some who were injured. Three days after this shooting is the time to remember names, to see faces, and to remember the common humanity we share with those who were directly impacted.