I sit this morning and debate with myself. Do I start a category on my blog for terrorist attacks? There seem to be an ever increasing number of them. Enough that a separate category might be warranted. It seems for every one of them my heart grieves a bit more than the time before. It seems words spring up from my soul and flow out into the pain of loss. It seems that consolation is part of my DNA in the aftermath of loss of life. My heart recoils. It pulls back and tries to hide…every time. Then the words begin. In my head at first. Then onto the page. They woo my heart to come out from hiding and to speak.
This morning, I sit in the shadow of an airport. I prepare to take my own flight before this day is over. I wonder. I ponder. I make a choice not to fear. Instead I pray. For the people of Istanbul and for the world.
I do not understand the violence that is becoming commonplace. My mind is in a quandary as to how this can continue on and on and on. People wake up and go about their business not knowing that by the end of the day their world will be upside down. In an instant, life forever altered. In an instant. I cannot comprehend it. My heart cries out as if it is ME that has lost a family member. In reality, Lord you have shown me…I HAVE lost a family member…many family members. Every life snuffed out hurts your heart as it does my own. We are all of your creation and therefore brothers and sisters in the human family. Each life taken is a part of me just as it is a part of you.
I weep with those who weep. I weep for Istanbul today…just as I did for Paris and Brussels before them. I lift them up to you and ask that you would comfort as only you can. Restore peace. Pour out your grace. Surround them with your presence so that they can see your heart is for them, not against them. I pray for the mothers and fathers who will bury children. I pray for the children who will stand at the graveside of parents. Each one has a heart shattered. Fill the broken places Lord with your love. Piece each heart back together as only you can do. The love you offer is never ending. It is deep and wide and covers the ugly violence of this world. It pours out freely to all people. I pray that you would hover closely in the midst of the pain and that you would make yourself known.
I pray for the helpers. Those who run into the chaos. Give them eyes to see details that need to be seen. Protect their hearts from the grizzly reality of their work. Give them wisdom, and revelation as they help those who are stunned by the suddenness of this horrific act. I pray they would find the courage that is a part of all helpers in jobs that require difficult things. Give them your grace to walk in the hard places to bring help to those who require it.
I pray for the leaders of the world. All of them. That you would open their eyes on how to best deal with this threat. Help them to see it for what it is. Give them wisdom. Give them supernatural plans that deal with this issue on a deeper level. Help them to work together…in unity. Bind their hearts and minds together. Give them one vision…your vision.
We are at a loss Lord, as to how to save lives. We sit and ring our hands and point our fingers. Help us instead, to turn our hearts towards you and to seek you and only you. Give us insight as to how to pray. Help us to see that our ways are not your ways. Cover us with your grace. Grant us hope. Open our eyes to where your light is shining in the darkness. Bring peace to our world. Banish fear from our minds and hearts. Help us to be bold in your love. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Bless those who persecute you. Bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but enjoy the company of the lowly. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Carefully consider what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible on your part, live at peace with everyone. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in so doing, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21
Lord, Please show us how to live these verses out.