I have to admit, being so far away I was even shook up a bit due to the events that happened yesterday, the 27th. I woke up this morning thinking, “life goes on, and who now is hated most of all in Chardon, Ohio?” Yesterday, as I was scrolling my Newsfeed on Facebook I saw much of the same: “sending out prayers for the families of those lost,” or “prayers for the victims in this tragic day.”
Is that how a Christian should respond? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of Jesus’ main teachings about love for your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48)? Not once did I see anyone mention that they were praying for this boy who killed innocent classmates in cold blood. Clearly the answer to my question is that this boy is the enemy of many right now. Someone who kills innocent people in cold blood usually assumes the position of “enemy” quickly with a number of people.
Our reactions as Christians should be to pray for this teenager T.J. Lane and his family, for the families of those he murdered, and any others suffering. It’s hard for the families of the deceased, but T.J. just realized today that the sun still rises, and what he did has changed his life and the life of others forever. This is some rough stuff for both sides now, but both need to find grace in us Christians. It’s time to not be Christians who shun and cast down, instead it’s time to be Christians who love and are compassionate to those who deserve to be hated by everyone else.
Think about it. Who’s receiving dinners from their neighbors today? Who’s getting cards mailed to their house today? T.J.’s family or the families who lost children? Who’s sitting alone in their house? Who’s afraid to leave, or to answer the door? T.J.’s family or the families who lost children? It’s easy to love those who’ve not done any harm, but much more difficult to pray for those who would never pray for you. I’m not saying forget about those who're the victims, but rather to pray for both because I guarantee that there are 2 sides in this morning that are hurting.
If all you can do is pray (and yes it is possible to do more) I challenge you right now to get on your knees and pray for T.J. and all your enemies, don’t just change your Twitter or Facebook. Continue in your prayer for those who are suffering today. Then go put a walk to your talk.