This picture was emailed to us by a Power FM listener. The girl in the middle is 9 years old, and she organized a prayer vigil for those affected by this weekend’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I got this picture in my inbox, and all I could think was, “Man. This girl gets it.”
In the midst of all the heated arguments about gun control, mental illness, and the nature of evil, this little girl got her neighborhood to pray. She didn’t come up with a snappy 140-character quip. She didn’t find a way to show that something like this actually proves God’s existence. She did the only thing she knew to do when faced with trouble. She joined with fellow believers in prayer.
There’s a tendency lately that when stuff like this happens, we find ways to use the events to support our own personal soapboxes. If you were on social media much this weekend, you know that’s true. It’s like we forget our discussion starter was a life-altering tragedy to so many others.
I’m guilty of this. Christian radio folks in general have a nasty habit of taking stories like this and turning them into “show prep.” There are dozens of sermonettes to be pulled from tragedy, and it’s all too easy to turn something horrific into a segue for a “deep break,” all the while ignoring how much those affected are hurting.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about issues. I’m not even saying tragedy shouldn’t spur discussion.
I’m just saying I wish we were all a little bit more like this 9-year-old girl.