Yesterday in our nation we had another tragic event. We saw another massive shooting in an elementary school. We mourn for those parents and families who lost loved ones, yet in a sense we all lost someone, for we are a people who share things in common, one of them is experiencing the pain of losing loved ones, those children are our children too.
There are other things we share as part of the human family, in fact we have more in common than not. Yet we allow petty differences to separate us and intentionally war and invoke violence on one another. Instead of allowing our differences to unite us, we separate causing a greater disunity.
Each year millions of people visit the wailing or western wall in Jerusalem. They place prayers in the bricks and many butt their heads in lamenting for prayers for loved ones, or for their country, or even for themselves. We need to take to the words of Nehemiah:
Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah 8:9 (NLT)
When the people heard the words of the law being read, they wept because they knew how far they had strayed from God’s Word. Yet Nehemiah told them not to weep, but to rejoice, not because they had strayed but because there was a God of mercy, who yet was offering them grace.
As I thought about the wailing wall and the mourning that this nation is experiencing today, I thought of the words of Nehemiah. We never rejoice because of a tragedy, we mourn for our collective loss. Yet, it is a day of rejoicing as well, for this God we serve in the midst of our suffering has offered us grace to pick ourselves up, arm ourselves with His Word and go after this enemy that He already defeated on the cross of Calvary. We must purpose in our heart to rise up and go out in the highways and byways and convert the lost and see that the infirmed are made whole. There are sick people all around us, yet may we never forget that greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world. We must be intentional about fighting mental illness, the cost is too great if we do not. Have mercy upon us oh Lord and teach our hands to war.