“There are no words.”
If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a thousand times in the comments of those grieving in recent days.
When an entire church of families and children is wiped out by persistent gunshots, it feels pointless to say anything. When a man is shot and killed in front of his wife as they take a walk in their own neighborhood just nine days after their wedding? Nothing seems to help. You type, delete, type, delete, again and again, hoping that something profound and fitting will come to your mind. But it can’t, because your mind is grappling. Torn. Numb. Shocked. There are simply no words.
Oh but there are words.
In the aftermath of horror and trauma, there are words. When the world is reeling and churches are obliterated and families are shattered, there are words. Oh there are words. Words written specifically for times such as these. Words profound and fitting. Words that no human could write. For how can we possibly respond to these things?
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Ps 147:3
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps 34:18
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Ps 56:3-4
I called on your name, O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” Lam 3:55-57
The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. Ps 11:5
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Pet 5:8-9
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7
Do not be overcome by evil. But overcome evil with good. Rom 12:21
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Rom 12:17-19
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Jn 16:33
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock Eternal. Isa 26:4
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