But right now is not the time for debates... right now is a time for the people of God to come alongside those who are weeping and mourning. Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." I think overall, Christian communities are sometimes uncomfortable with sadness, deep loss, pain, and weeping. Maybe it's a misunderstanding of joy- that Christians are supposed to be joyful, and not sad. Maybe it's because we are simply afraid of feeling something deeper than we think we can handle. But now is a time for tears, for grieving, and for prayer. I don't live anywhere near Connecticut to grieve personally, to show up in person, alongside those who have lost their children and family members. My constant prayer since Friday has been, "Lord, please press on the heart of your church in Connecticut to simply SHOW UP." I've been praying that God moves in the hearts of Christians and pastors in the nearby area of Sandy Hook Elementary to not only pray, but to show up. Attend the funerals of children, even though they might not know them, shower these families with the love of Jesus in human tangible form... in the form of Christians showing up grieving and weeping alongside them, in person, and pray that God gives opportunities to give them real, true, and lasting hope among the devastating pain.
The world is a broken, hurting, messy, and often terrible place. It's laced with sin and sadness. When we encounter devastation we often ask ourselves where is God? What is His response to such turmoil?
God draws near to those who have lost what is dearest to them. And he does so through his people. And when someone asks us, “Where was God when this happened?” We can say with a hope-filled heart and trembling voice, “God is in the same place today as he was when his own Son hung on a cross. Jesus Christ took all this evil and suffering and swallowed it as a bitter pill. God so loves this sin-sick world that he gave his only Son to it. And whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life with our Father in a world made right.” (David Fairchild)