As I walked along the the streets of Surfside in North Miami, I noticed an eerie silence. No cars. No people. Everyone was kept at a distance as the first responders worked. It reminded me that it will be the 20 year anniversary of 9/11 this year, and in a similar way, the piles of ruble and the days of waiting has thrown a group of people into a tailspin of tragedy. But…
When tragedy happens, people come together.
In Surfside, I immediately noticed the care of those who had come together in this tragedy. The families of missing loved ones were sitting together and consoling one another. No one was really alone. Those who had fewer relatives around them had others around them to pray and just hold a hand.
I also saw cars pulling over to drop off food, water, and drinks. When tragedy happens, people come together and care for one another. After such a divisive year, it was a reminder that at the heart of all of us, we are people. Tragedy unites people. We shouldn’t need it to unite us, but now that it has, let us continue to focus on what brings us together and not what tears us apart.
Father, I pray for the comfort and strength of the families waiting to hear news of their loved ones. I pray that many more would be found and that You continue to keep safe the first responders who working diligently. May this be a bookmark in our history that helps unite people in a tumultuous time and allows others across this country try to come together without tragedy.
When tragedy happens, we are reminded of the brevity of life.
Ironically, this past week I have been studying the book of Ecclesiastes which focuses on the brevity of life. Those words have never been so true as when something so tragic happens in the middle of the night. We don’t know when death will be before us, but we do know it is before all of us. Ecclesiastes 9:3 says, “Everyone under the sun suffers the same fate…there is nothing ahead but death.”
Father God, You alone know the course of our lives. Your word says, “for everything there is a season.” I pray that in the season we are in we can live a life full of meaning, remindered of how precious life is.
When tragedy happens, people turn to God.
As we walked around, we were able to pray with a few people. In this sort of circumstance, people turn to God and are open to that type of conversation, despite any differences in our religion. It reminded me that in all of life we should point our conversations to God and not be afraid to ask to pray with and for others. Ecclesiastes ends with this purpose, “Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty” (12:13).
Heavenly Father, give us the courage to make all of our life point to you. I pray that through this horrible destruction that many will turn to you for the first time and encounter your AMAZING GRACE.