And now this.
Life comes with all sorts of experiences and emotions. This past weekend was a microcosm of that. There were the joys of service as people cared for the needy in the Parking Lot Mission, by making beds, and by sleeping in cardboard boxes to bring attention and money to homelessness issues. There was the grief of funerals for people many in our community loved and felt left us far too quickly and too young. There was the celebration of worship and music ministry and United Methodist Women and the dedication of the Prayer Garden. There was the blessing of praying for peace and unity as two neighboring churches communed in ways their ancestors wouldn't have predicted.
And now this.
It's deflating that another emotional weekend which included so much good and so many signs of things moving in the right direction ends with another horrific shooting. It's too early to know what motive or mental condition will be attributed to the shooter's heinous act. It's too early to know how or why he had access to terribly efficient weapons. But I hope those questions won't be left aside until it's too late, until the next terrible event distracts us from doing better by our citizens. We deserve a country where you can enjoy an outdoor concert or a dance club or a work environment or a school building or a place of worship and not fear that someone nearby is prepared for mass murder.
I wish I knew how to achieve that. I continue to pray God will reveal the way to the right people. And, we never run out of grieving people and grievous situations for which to pray. That UMW Prayer Garden arrived none too soon. Visit it to experience peace and to pray hard for it. God, we need it.