We awoke this morning to devastating news of Taliban militants attacking school children at the Army Public School and Degree College in the violence-plagued city of Peshawar. Casualty figures this morning are around 125 dead, mostly children age 12-16.
These events are beyond enraging. Beyond comprehending. And they are the world in which we live. A world at times incredibly blessed and at times breathtakenly broken as we witness senseless acts of horrific violence inflicted on the defenseless.
So we pray. And we cry. And maybe something in us stirs to do.
This story is not outside the Christmas narrative. 2,000 years ago, feeling threatened by the birth of the new king in the form of infant Jesus, King Herod, to eliminate potential threats to his despotic reign, ordered the slaughter of Jewish infants under his jurisdiction. Titled “The Slaughter of Innocents” it is a little known tragedy tucked away in the Christmas story. And God’s heart broke as well, “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.”
Events like the the unfolding tragedy in Pakistan are one of the painful reminders that the work we do, the world we advocate for, is not a small thing or a little thing or a conveniently happy little church thing. It is no less than revolutionary in a still and quiet and non-violent way. Joined by countless millions from many denominations. An authentic alternative. Beginning in our own broken hearts and reaching out into a broken world.
So we pray for Pakistan and we pray for the world.