Sutherland Springs: Not a Hashtag, Our Family
When tragedy strikes we take to social media and show our support by saying #WeAreHouston or #WeAreOrlando or #WeAre…whoever is suffering now. In this age, when the tide of bad news rushes in, scrolling and posting are therapeutic. Grieving together on social media can indeed be a blessing.
An obvious downfall is that the bad news does in fact rush in as often as the tide. It comes at us over and over and over. We are aware of global heartache and yet without the power to effect change. So we settle with making a post with a hashtag and scroll on for something else.
Last night, when I first read of the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, it felt much like Las Vegas or Orlando or Virginia Tech (I cannot recall even a fraction of the recent mass shootings in the United States). I saw the headline. I read the article. I breathed in and whispered, “How awful,” to no one in particular.
But then this morning I heard that the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter was shot and killed. My husband is a pastor. I have a 14-year-old daughter. I heard the pastor’s wife grieve. I thought about the people in my own church who are—like the victims in Texas—from 18 months to 77 years old.
Then it occurred to me: Christian, we really are Sutherland Springs. That’s our family.
Paul said, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27). And, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26a).
#WeAreSutherlandSprings and we are called to suffer with them.
Let’s take time to lament the deaths in our family, rather than scroll past. Let’s “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and ask our Father in heaven to comfort those who mourn (Matthew 5:4). And may we not stop with Sutherland Springs.
The truth is, the church is deeply hurting around the globe—Christians around the world are suffering the worst persecution ever. What happened in Texas happens with inconceivable consistency in Egypt, Sudan, and North Korea. They are our brothers and sisters too.
Pastors in and near Sutherland Springs have asked for prayer. Again and again they have looked into the camera and asked us to lift up their friends and neighbors. Let’s do that. And let’s not stop with Texas. Let’s remember our brothers and sisters who suffer the world over. Let’s remember that we are family. #WeAretheBodyofChrist.
(Photo credit: www.mysanantonio.com)