There were two more shootings on college campuses in the last couple of days.
Two bombs killed and wounded many people in Ankara, Turkey in the last few hours.
Armed groups plan protests against radical Islam outside American Muslim houses of worship today.
I know you already know all of that, but I just need to tell you about it and to ask you to have mercy on us. We need your help.
You know what lies in the hearts of people that leads them to think that violence and the threat of violence are appropriate responses to wrongs done or perceived to have been done against them.
Your Son’s heart must break when he sees people who profess to follow him—the One who fought evil with good, who countered hate with love, and who responded to hurt with forgiveness—live in ways that reveal their commitment to the exact opposite of what he lived and died for.
I must confess that, even though I do not threaten or carry out violence against others, that my heart is far from pure. I must confess that I harbor and sometimes even nurture anger and resentment toward others. I must confess that I am not free of the kinds of feelings, attitudes, and thoughts that my Lord told me lie at the heart of violence.
So Lord, please forgive me.
Help me to grow in your love, grace, mercy so that I not only repudiate violence but have none of the heart conditions that lead to it.
Please also work in the hearts of those who are outwardly violent.
We all need you.
And—whether we know it or not—we all need each other . . .