The news about the school shooting at the elementary school in Nashville today has been so hard. I’ve been wondering what I would say to all of those who are hurting. All those families who lost someone, who know a person who was killed. All the teachers and parents and first responders and pastors and — oh, gosh, all of us who keep realizing with a sinking feeling that we can’t ultimately protect ourselves and our loved ones from the terrible things that sometimes happen in this world.
We had this job here — to learn to love this earth and the people on it. To treat folks the way we would like to be treated. And it feels like that things have gotten away from us and our world is racing along towards disaster.
And here I am, awake in the night. Feeling afraid, alone, full of grief and bewildered about how we got to this place of brokenness.
We are held captive by the false idolatries of the Second Amendment, beliefs in conspiracy theories, a multimillion dollar industry of guns.
And where is the holy one tonight?
God is weeping in a hospital hallway where parents seek their injured or murdered children and loved ones.
God is holding a first responder overwhelmed by the scenes they saw today.
God is sitting beside the bed of every parent who lies awake trying to figure out how to keep their child safe as they go to school, the mall, the movie theatre.
God is reaching out to hold the heart and mind of the one so wounded that this horror gets acted out.
God holds the space between us as we numbly see the news, read the latest statistics.
Have mercy, dear creator of the universe. We are danger of tumbling into the abyss.
Friends, I hope you will consider joining me in this online event at the end of September. I’ll be leading worship for the retreat. We will open with prayer at 5:00 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, September 30 and we’ll close with prayer at noon (CDT) on Saturday, October 2nd. Join us as we create spaces to heal.
Resilience: Healing Practices for Mind, Body, and Spirit
In March 2020, everything changed. As we reflect on the last 18 months, we find ourselves in a new and unfamiliar place. The world has changed. Our work has changed. Our families have changed. We have changed. These have been months filled with trauma for people all over the world.
Now we begin the task of finding our way in this changed world, of healing from our individual and collective trauma. How do we do this?
You’re invited to join The Upper Room as we create space to listen together as we find our way. Our virtual event will include storytelling, time for personal reflection and conversation, guided spiritual practice, and worship. This time of gathering offers spaciousness—time for reflection and interaction, a fresh array of spiritual practices to help with healing from trauma, and an introduction to spiritual tools you can use in your own healing journey or the healing journey through which you lead others.
Speakers and workshop leaders include Rev. Sidwell Mokgothu, Rev. Trevor Hudson, Rev. Dr. Amy Steele, Rev. Dr. Ron Bell, Rev. Kimberly Orr, Kara Lassen Oliver, Rev. Beth A. Richardson, and more.
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.”
– Isaiah 58:12, The Message
Come, Spirit of Courage, creative Source of Healing. Amen.