The scripture reading for today is 1 John 5:2.
“Grant to me, Lord, a heart of compassion rather than condemnation. Forgive for the times I have judged others when you yourself were reaching out to them in love.“
It has been a destructive time in this country full of hateful and senseless acts of violence. I recently attended a church in Kansas City, shortly after a young woman was killed by a stray bullet at Final Friday. (The same week of the horrific events in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX.) The young woman had attended this church and the Pastor felt he had to speak on these tragic events. While everyone may not agree on the legislative measures that need to be taken, I really appreciated the core of his message. He included a message from Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas pointed out that the reason many young individuals turn to violence is because they do not grow up in a world where they feel loved. They do not get to experience the love of a family member or friend lifting them up and making them feel valuable and therefore they do not often value human life. They don’t think twice about picking up a gun, rather than having a purposeful conversation.
One of the most impactful moments was when this pastor spoke of his visit to the young woman’s family. Obviously, they were overwhelmed with emotions, which I’m sure included grief, confusion, and even anger. Through all these emotions, the young woman’s father wanted to pray for the shooter and his family. He knew that they were experiencing the same pain and grief that they were and wanted them to feel God’s love and mercy. Now that is what I call compassion.
What would it look like if every child grew up knowing God’s love for them? What if they knew that we are all special in God’s eyes and that He has a great plan for us? What if we saw others merely as children of God rather than Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, or any other difference we choose to focus on? What if instead of being overwhelmed with anger, we turned to compassion?
Lord, help us to spread your love in this world. Help us to lead with hearts of compassion and forgiveness, rather than turning to anger or condemnation. Amen
Karen DeMauro Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayer Concern: For those with anger towards others in their hearts.