A Five-Minute Reflection on Charleston and Future Tragedies

Today a White House employee is preparing President Obama’s next condolences speech. Because what happened in Charleston will happen again. The speechwriter already knows many of the details of the future tragedy via statistical analysis of past events. The gun that will be used in the slaughter, for example, has already been purchased, and probably through legal means.

29939_642540381787_5917353_nWhat the speechwriter will not be able to fill in just yet are the identity of the shooter, the names and ages of the victims, and the location where they will be murdered. Will it be a movie theater? Another church? Or, if the timing is right, perhaps another elementary school?

Gun ownership is indeed part of the fabric of our country. But so was slavery.

I don’t know the solution to what is in every respect a complicated issue. I’m not smart enough, and I don’t pretend to be. But it doesn’t take a genius to see that something about our current situation isn’t working.

This post isn’t intended as a provocation. It’s also not an attempt to solve anything. It’s more of a reflection and an invitation to pray, if that’s your thing (and if it isn’t, please just move along).

Pray for the families of the victims, that they might find comfort in the midst of chaos.

Pray for the shooter and his family, because no one is beyond the reach of God’s mercy.

Pray for the victims – past, present, and future – that they might enjoy a peace that surpasses understanding.

And pray for our nation, that we might strive to ensure that subsequent generations have fewer opportunities to mourn.

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