In the wake of senseless tragedy, it can be nearly impossible to find the right words to say. The shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA hit close to home for actress and author, Candace Cameron Bure. It happened literally too close to home for her. Even while being miles away working on a movie set, she stepped out in this difficult moment and expressed her raw emotions and prayers as she grieved along with her community.
Amidst tears, she addressed her Instagram followers in a story, saying:
“I know it’s hard to comprehend the senseless tragedies that seem to happen every single month… all of it is horrible. I do not want this to turn into any kind of political thing. That’s not my point. I just want all of my friends and family, community and everyone in Thousand Oaks to know that I’m thinking of you! I’m sending my love, my prayers, and if you can go donate blood, do it!”
She shared information on where to donate blood right after her message.
Well, things did get political in her private messages. And what she said next demonstrates an important point for anyone when responding to tragedy.
“This is me saying in the nicest but firmest way possible… STOP 🛑 sending me your political messages and telling me to use my voice otherwise I’m not helping! Let a person have a chance to grieve!!! YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!!”
Look, we totally get it. When something like this happens, the horror, outrage, and anxiety wells up in each of us and we want to do something about it. So often we feel helpless. While it’s easy to turn to your political ideas as a “solution,” no matter what they are, take a minute to think about what Candace is saying.
There’s something to this “taking time to mourn with those who mourn,” taking time to encourage those who are struggling. The grief and search for hope is something we can truly all agree on. It’s something that can bring us together in a very polarizing political climate.
In Romans 12, Paul (the writer) breaks down what it means to be a living sacrifice for God’s glory. In verses 15-16 he says, “Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (emphasis mine)
In 1 Corinthians when Paul is explaining the character of our God, he says, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (emphasis mine)
A few things stand out today:
- Weep with those who weep in California.
- Respond to tragic events in a way that lets us still live in harmony.
- Remember how God has comforted you in your troubles, and lean on His power as you give that same comfort to others who are hurting today.
If you haven’t experienced that comfort from God, maybe that’s where you start. Maybe today is your day to get to know Him better and begin to understand why these ideas are so life-changing.
None of us are going to get it right every time, but today, we appreciate what Candace communicated. Let a person have a chance to grieve. Not only that, but let’s pray and grieve with them, just like the God of all comforts does for us.
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