I learned the news of the killings in Aurora, Colorado, early this morning. I stepped on the elliptical machine in the fitness center here at Indiana Wesleyan University (where I am teaching for the month) at 6 a.m. Fox News was just starting on the television mounted on the wall, and this was the lead story. I have been praying off and on ever since.
But life has “gone on” for me, despite my feeling that knowledge of a pain as great as this should affect me more. My students are taking a test today, and I am planning for classes next week and making a to-do list of all I have to accomplish before I head home this afternoon. Sometimes I wish I were more like May, the character in The Secret Life of Bees who felt other people’s sorrows, even those from far away, as if they were her own. It’s not a very practical or worldly way to be, but ever since I read that book, I’ve thought there was some beauty to her heart, and it’s given me some insight into how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:25-27).
Grateful for this God who groans for us and knows the deep needs of all hearts, I have been praying Scripture today. After all, these are the Words written by the One who feels and knows all pain and calls Himself “the Comforter” (Jeremiah 8:18).
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Father God, “crushed in spirit” is a good way to describe what these friends and family are feeling. Rescue them, Lord. Help them to KNOW that You are close to them. Draw them into a knowledge of You as the Savior and the Lover of their souls.