Words matters. This is one of my foundational assumptions as a human being and as a writing teacher. Here are the words I prayed this morning as I read about what happened yesterday when a gunman stormed a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. May they be of use to you.
Lord, in your mercy, we ask that you be with all those caught up by the horrific violence visited yesterday upon the Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Bring comfort to those who suffer and mourn. Hold all who are in pain and need in your loving-kindness. Let us know and remember the victims and their families as much as we seek to understand the attacker, for where we focus our attention reveals our concern. May we not let this awful shattering of precious lives make us more fearful, close ourselves off from our neighbors, and harden our hearts. Rather, allow us be open to the difficult dialogues that have the potential to transform this nation, to make the world more gentle and more just. Give us clarity, vision, and renewed purpose as we respond to the aftermath of these events. Amen.