There are many memes and graphics like this one all over social media today.
At least 59 dead. That number will rise. It always does. Even when the media stops reporting.
At least 500 injured.
It sounds like all they need is a bandaid and kiss and all will be well. Nope. “Injured” can mean so many things. Head trauma. Lost limbs. Paralysis. Permanent disability.
Lives were changed yesterday. Forever changed.
Pain. Physical. Emotional. Mental. The pain will be there for months and years. Even after the victims leave the hospital. Or finish their physical therapy. The pain will remain for many. Doctors can’t fix everything.
The scars. The scars will remain.
Fear. Fear of public places. Fear of loud noises. Fear of being in crowds. Even for those with great faith. There will always be that memory and knowledge of the existence of evil. The personal experience that taught them men can and do act out evil. Senseless evil.
And then there are the families. Families affected by a loved one injured.
So many grieving families today. More will be lost in the coming days. The death toll will rise.
The moms. The dads. The siblings. The spouses. The children. All grieving. Planning funerals.
This part is all too familiar.
We need You. Our nation needs You. Turn our hearts You. Remove this evil from our midst, oh God. This killing. This lack of awareness of the value of human life, of people made in Your image. This senseless violence.
O God! Bring our nation back to You. Help us to love one another as You love us. Help us to be kind and caring. To love our neighbors instead of hate.
Father, the victims! They need Your touch, Your healing, Your comfort. Please, Lord, touch each of them in a special way. Show them Your loving kindness.
And the families…I have no words. No words to express what I feel for the families of the dead. I ask that You comfort them and give them peace.