Kairos Reflections

Tonight, we had a special service of worship and prayer for the families of the victims of the shootings at Covenant School here in Nashville. It was a special night. Sometimes, you just need to preempt your plans to make room to seek the face of God in the face of unspeakable tragedy, loss, and evil. Tonight was that night.

One takeaway is when Pastor Mike brought up how in the beginning of Job’s troubles, his friends came to him and sat with him in silence. They didn’t try to explain away his pain or figure out God’s plan in Job’s suffering. They simply sat in the dust with Job and were present with him in his pain.

In the midst of a world increasingly filled with tragedies, God calls us to be present to those who are the victims of a fallen world. God doesn’t need us to fix anyone or anything. God doesn’t need us to preach them a sermon or to give them a Philosophy 101 on why there is evil in a world God created. God just wants us to be there, present with those who suffer, weeping with those who weep and sharing their burden.

When we are present, God is also present. As ambassadors of Christ, we bring His presence into the dark night of their pain and suffering. We bring light into darkness, hope into despair, truth into lies, victory into defeat, simply by being there.

God might give you a word for someone going through the valley of the shadow of death, but more often than not, God calls you to be with that person without preaching or moralizing. Your silent presence can mean more than a thousand well-meaning words or platitudes or sayings like how your thoughts and prayers are with them. They don’t need your empty promises to pray for them as much as they need you to walk alongside of them and be with them, a visible reminder of Emmanuel, God with us.

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