Dear Friends in Christ

Once again, anguish fills our hearts.

We find ourselves feeling numb when images of violence and hate strike at our very souls, and we voice the following simple prayer for those lives working through the jaggedness of such violence and hate, “The Lord be between you and harm in all of the empty places you must walk. Deep peace and the Son of peace to you.”

Our Creator continues to speak even in the midst of such brokenness, and one such way is through gifted voices who the Holy empowers to speak directly into the chasm of darkness.

One such voice of truth is one which I turn to again and again, Bishop Rueben P. Job:

“Jesus had the ability to show up where the wounds seemed to be greatest and those who heard of him seemed to show up wherever he was to receive the gift of healing. We don’t have to be particularly observant to notice that our world is filled with the wounded and broken.” –- When You Pray: Daily Practices for Prayerful Living

We respond to brokenness when we are with the wounded and broken, in Las Vegas … in Puerto Rico … in Texas … in Florida … and in so doing, we encounter the Resurrected One.

May the following prayer guide us in the season of grieving and healing ahead:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy. 

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen. — St. Francis of Assisi

Sisters and brothers, these are guiding words for us as the Body of Christ as we seek to move forward out of our numbness and shock and continue to be about the work of hope and healing.

We are on this journey together. Thank you.

God’s grace, strength and peace to you.
Neil Leftwich Signature

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