July 20, 2012
Dear Trinity Church Friends,
Shock, anger, profound sadness…not again…not in our community… Those were feelings and thoughts in many of our hearts and minds when we learned this morning of what national news is labeling the “Colorado massacre.” Our home phone rang earlier than usual. It was our daughter calling from Texas, just wanting to hear our voices. Sharon and I were not aware of the tragedy until Martha called.
This close-to-home tragedy touches us deeply. Some of us perhaps know one or more of the 70+ persons murdered or wounded, or members of their families. Flashbacks to Columbine 13 years ago bring another layer of grief. Our community is again numbed by the senseless loss of life of so many so young.
During a weeklong campout on Lake Travis near Austin, Texas, in June 1966, my Boy Scout Troop visited the University of Texas. We went up in the 28-story tower and stood on the observation deck with its commanding view of the campus, city, and Hill Country. Less than two months later, a 25-year-old former Marine, Eagle Scout, and UT student shot and killed 16 persons and wounded 32 others from his perch on that same observation deck.
Austin…Columbine…now Aurora…we cannot forget these tragedies. We mourn with those who have lost what is precious and irreplaceable. We can do some other things immediately
- We can donate blood. Some of the 59 wounded will need the gift of life from some of us.
- We can pray. Below is part of a lengthy, timely prayer from today’s Sojourner’s website. (sojo.net)
- We can worship and express our faith. As a community, we will remember the victims of this morning’s theater tragedy when we gather Sunday morning at 8:15 and 11:00. We need to be together as God’s people in God’s house in such a time as this. Violence does not have the last word. God does and it is a word of hope. Like our daughter, we need a voice and word of assurance.
Loving God, Darkness has covered our nation and thick darkness has descended upon our people. Tragedy has clouded out the light. Shots rang out in Aurora, Colorado. Some people were wounded by gas and bullets. Others were murdered.
In this time of darkness may your resilient light shine forth. May your light shine on the family and friends of the 12 people who were killed during this senseless crime. There’s no way to explain the darkness that indiscriminately murders children, women, and men. They were each someone’s son, daughter, mother, or father — and nobody can fully understand the immense grief and righteous anger of their loved ones. They need your light, Loving God…
You are invited to share your feelings, faith, and prayers on the new Trinity blog as we cope and come to terms with this community tragedy that could have happened anywhere. Life is fragile and unpredictable and, therefore, precious. Thanks be to God for hope and promise in life and in death.
Yours in pain and prayer,
Pastor Mike Dent