From Pastor Peter: You're Part of the "We"

On Sunday morning, I mentioned how YOU had impacted my actions this past's the longer version...

I saw someone post something about a shooting in Fort Thomas on Tuesday morning, not long after it happened.  In turn, I posted it to our Facebook and Twitter feeds, simply asking people to pray.  People liked, commented, shared, and told me individually that they would definitely be praying.  Some also shared if & how they had connections to those affected by the tragedy.  The world is big, but northern Kentucky is not...and the world of Christians in the greater Cincinnati area is even smaller.

The next day, I was in the Fort Thomas area for other meetings and appointments.  Fort Thomas doesn't really have a huge hustle & bustle about it, but there seemed to be a particular lull around town that I personally associated with the shooting that took place just a little over twenty-four hours ago.  There was a bit of mayhem in Mayberry, and it could be felt.

As I was driving, God called to mind the many people in our church family who said they were praying for the situation and those affected by the shooting.  As I was thanking God for such a responsive, prayerful flock, I was prompted to stop by and just let people know that we were praying for them.  I thought that would encourage them, and just really wanted them to know many people were talking to God about them, for them, and asking Him to help and save.

The question is this: would I have stopped by if I thought I was the only one praying for them?  Hmm...I dunno.  I certainly could have.  There wouldn't have been anything wrong with that.  I would have prayed...but would I have stopped to tell them?  Who knows.

What I do know is what prompted me to stop by was the thought that our church family was praying for them.  Even though we'd never met them, we were praying.  It wasn't just me, but the "we" that God used in my heart to have me stop by 20 N. Grand Avenue.  I wanted them to know that.

"Although we don't know who you are, and although we don't pretend to know what you're going through, we are praying for you."

"There are lots of people praying for you right now.  We weren't there, but we're aware of what happened and we really do care.  We do. Me, and a whole bunch of other people love Jesus and care about you.

I'm not paid to pray for victims of tragedy, but some people (particularly non-Christians) tend to associate stuff like that with a Pastor.  "Sure you pray, what with you being a pastor 'n all.  Heck I bet you read your Bible too, right?"  I can still remember the lady's reaction, and to what she reacted...and it was when I told her that our church, we are praying for them.  In God's kindness, He used that to bring about even more opportunities to minister to them, as that's when the conversation regarding biblical counseling took place, and that's when plans were made and a bit of a relationship was built the next day.

I dunno...maybe I'm making a bigger deal out of this than it really is, but I just felt compelled to let you know the important role that you played as a prayer partner in this particular ministry opportunity, and how God called you to my mind, prompting me to introduce us to people who were hurting.  Thanks for being the type of church body that prays, not just for themselves, but for total strangers who are hurting as well.  I truly was, and still remain, very moved by your prayerful sympathy, and am so grateful for the opportunity God brought about for us to serve hurting people.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

(images used with permission via Flickr Creative Commons)
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