The Twin Cities are particularly apt at taking advantage of our summers. There are countless activities and festivals that pepper our cityscape throughout these cherished warm months and there is a seemingly innate understanding of the importance in taking full advantage of such agreeable weather.
Yet, when tragedy strikes our city and our world, it makes these moments bittersweet. While it is not helpful to wallow in lament, it can also seem insensitive to revel when others in the world are mourning. Perhaps there were not better examples of this tension than the several Bastille Day celebrations that took place over the weekend. Events that were built to celebrate our local communities and honor French culture were held only days after a similar French celebrations in Nice were rocked by unspeakable violence.
Our Community Group saw this as an opportunity to offer our support through prayer and invite others to do the same. So, we handed out snow cones on a hot day, took prayer requests, and asked through simple prayer cards that our Twin Cities neighbors, who are no strangers to pain, pray for France.
The prayer we provided is universal, and is fitting for any people seeking comfort when facing difficult questions in the face of pain:
Father God. We are struck by the convergence of brokenness and beauty in the world--how small and helpless we feel in the midst of both. In the wake of yet another incredible tragedy, we ask that You bring great healing, compassion, peace, and unity to Nice, to France, and to the world, even as we are angry and frustrated and uncertain as to where You are in the midst of this messy life. May Your Loving Spirit dwell in and among the people of Nice to bring restoration. Let us know Your Gospel as one that unites people in renewing this Creation and ultimately brings all things closer to You through Your Son. Amen.