A Lament for Violence in Texas

Oh God, our God, today we cry out.
How long, oh Lord?
How long must we endure a way where hate overflows from one and devastates the neighbor?
How long must we live in a world obsessed with ways of violence?
How long must we wait until the next tragedy unfolds?
How much more blood needs shed?
How many more lives need lost?
How many more here we go agains must we utter?
How could someone be so calloused, filled with such hate, hell-bent on inflicting their brokenness on others?
These questions of how, pervade our minds each time when we turn on the news.
Still, Lord, we trust in you.
The prophets of old foretell of a world where violence is no more, where there is neither victim nor perpetrator, where weapons are rendered useless except as plowshares, where all live in peace.
But until that day, we cry out.
We know that you hear our prayers and that you are near to the brokenhearted.
As we reflect, we ask that you would be near today to all those whose loved ones lost their lives and those injured and for those who will be tormented by these actions forever.
God, today we ask you to grant us new words, ordained by your spirit to speak.
All of our rhetoric is useless.
The talking heads will say this and point to that.
These words are tired and empty and meaningless.
Grant us action over speech.
Lead us to value life in a culture that breeds death.
Grant us, your church, the courage to trust in you, to actively work towards the day where weapons and hate and fear and disdain are decomposed in the garden of peace.
As we remember, search us, O God.
Uproot within us any animosity towards our neighbor.
Pluck from our lives any roots of hate that might cause us to look down on our neighbor.
Enable us to live in tune with your spirit, that animosity, fear, frustration, judgment, and rage might not have any fertile soil within our lives, that we might live as examples of grace and peace.
That our enemies might say of us, they retaliated our violence with cups of water.
They visited us in our prisons of rage.
They comforted us in our depression of fear.
Until that day, we look to you.
We grieve for now, but we trust in your unfailing love.