Every life matters because God created it for his glory. Every life matters to God, so every life should matter to us. If you read any news headline this week with indifference, repentance is an appropriate response. Lives were lost. Families were torn apart. Funerals are being planned. O, the untold sorrow of each family!

If you feel helpless, let me offer three things that every Christian can do to be part of the solution: 

PRAY

Social media forums are often horrible places for sensitive conversations. So, this week, I hit pause. We say at our church, “If every prayer you prayed for the lost this week was answered, how many new believers would there be?” So, I paused and asked myself, “If every prayer I prayed for racial reconciliation was answered, would any relationships be healed? Would relationships in my church, neighborhood, city, nation, or world look any different as a result of my prayers?” 

Prayer is God’s ordained means to accomplish his ends. We never gloss over prayer on our way to action; prayer is action. Let clenched fists give way to open hands and bended knees. God hears prayer, and delights in giving good gifts to his children. Ask him for healing. Ask him for reconciliation.

We should pray first, but should certainly not stop there. We need relationships where we listen. (As a side note: listening only happens in relationships.)

LISTEN

I’m thankful that my church is growing in diversity. This simply means that, by God’s grace, I have relationships with people that are not like me, have different backgrounds than me, and have different, yet helpful perspective. We’ve prayed together this week. We’ve talked about their hurt. We’ve comforted each other and been reminded that Jesus is our only hope. 

In times of hurt and sorrow, our Great High Priest sympathizes. He sympathizes by listening. Christlikeness calls us to listen and bear each other’s burdens. If you heard the news this week and responded with indifference, I would encourage you to find a brother or sister who is hurting. Ask him or her to speak as you listen. Bear their burdens, for this is what Jesus does for all of us. 

SPEAK

I never expect an unbelieving world to get this right. As Christians (Christ's ambassadors), our timely voice must take the shape of the gospel message. The gospel is the good news that Jesus came humbly, lived perfectly, died obediently, rose powerfully, and reigns sovereignly. Jesus lives to make intercession for us. In other words, right now, Jesus is praying for us. He is speaking to God the Father on our behalf. 

This message needs to be spoken to a hurting world. This message is the only hope of reconciliation with God and with each other. With love, humility, and confidence...speak. 

Here are  few other resources that may help you respond this week:

The Recent Shootings and What to Say This Weekend
How Pastors Can Address the Shootings This Sunday
Responding to This Week's Violence