How do we respond to tragedy?

Penny_FeaturedA friend and former co-worker recently made a post to their Facebook page that really hit a cord and I think speaks for so many of us in light of recent events:

“A few weeks ago we lowered the flag for Orlando, last week we lowered the flag for our men in blue, and this week we lower them for our brothers and sisters in France. The way it’s going this year, we might as well keep them lowered all summer…”

This morning I also found the story of a Pastor in suburban Birmingham, Reverend Joel Frederick of Grace Life Baptist Church in McCalla, Alabama who too found himself hurting over the shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana and Texas.  Not knowing what to say, he did the only thing he could.

Fox 5 Atlanta carried the story which I’ll share part of here:

“The Alabama pastor invited Jefferson County Sheriff Lieutenant Mike Yarbrough, Birmingham Police Officer J. Logan and church member Adrian Robinson to the altar of McCalla’s Grace Life Baptist Church. Pastor Frederick then washed their feet, as Jesus did for his disciples in a display of humility and servant-hood following the Last Supper.”

The sheer power of this act and the moment are lost without seeing the events unfold.  Watch it for yourself on the church’s Facebook page at

As believers, our first and greatest calling is to humble ourselves in prayer.  Prayer to the LORD, prayer for the lost, prayer for the faithful and prayer for ourselves.  Prayer for guidance on what would Jesus do in times like these.

Reverend Frederick demonstrated this in spades and lights the way for how we should respond in the face of events that are so far beyond our ability to cope with.  Nothing is beyond God.  Where is He in times like these?  To quote Matthew West’s song “Do Something”, “He said, I created you!”

Through a selfless act of humility and humble servitude, we are shown how to love on the hatred that seeks to destroy our hope.  The kingdom of God is shown in the humble servitude reflected by this small town country pastor.  In this inspired act we see demonstrated the love of others as ourself being poured out on our neighbors in a way so often taught but so seldom realized.

How can we respond to the tragedy we see around us everyday?  Do something.  Pray!   Then share the answer that is found in the book that works best when opened, the Bible, and in the simple lessons that we are taught by the author and perfecter of our faith.  His name is Jesus!

~ Penny from Keep the Faith

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