But I also look at the faces of the three young men who await trail and think, "What an appalling waste of four young lives and all four families facing a new normal forever, a neighborhood whose sense of safety will take a lot of healing, the school staff striving to help her classmates and each other try to make sense of the senseless, police officers and criminalists haunted by images of the violated child, attorneys on both sides struggling with the horrifying details as the case moves through the legal system, a jury required to experience a new level of horror, and then life behind bars for those found guilty.
One horrific act and hundreds of lives impacted and hearts broken, multiplied by a thousand lesser and greater criminal acts each year, year in and year out, age unto age. While we are bound to do all we can to make the world better, we have not made as much progress as most would like over the past 10,000 plus years.
But we are not without hope and healing even in the midst of chaos. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18
This is my prayer for us all tonight: Jehovah Japtha, our God who heals, for each person touched by the brokenness of the World, we implore You to heal scores of broken hearts and restore legions of crushed spirits. Whisper Your love into our ears and spread beauty before our eyes as we find our way in a world we did not expect and did not sign up for. Send us fellow travelers to bear our burdens with us and mentors to teach us discernment and Your Spirit to comfort us. AMEN