A prayer for Lahore 

  
(Photograph: Arif Ali/AFP/Getty)

Heavenly Father.

Why?

Why does your creation just want to destroy itself?

Why do we use you as our excuse for evil?

Why are families, gathering to celebrate the glorious resurrection of your Son, torn apart by such evil?

Why do you allow such joy to turn to such horror?

Why? Why? Why?

I know that we are a broken, fallen people. I know that battle between good and evil rages within all of us. I know we are all capable of inhumanity.

But I will never get why. 

I sit here in a nice, comfortable chair, in my warm home, surrounded by my family. I sit here knowing that this death and destruction are thousands of miles away. I sit here, detached from the violence and hatred that so many are subjected to on a daily basis.

But I want to forgive.

I have no right, I have not and will probably never be affected by this terror. I haven’t seen my wife, children, friends killed or maimed. I haven’t had my life destroyed by mindless barbarity.

But still, I want to forgive.

I want, on Resurrection Sunday, to demonstrate to those who would carry out these acts what true devotion to you means. I want to tell them that death is not the end for any of us. I want them to know that forgiveness that isn’t just for those of us whose sins are those of greed, or pride or any of the everyday sins I battle against; I want them to know that Jesus died so that even they can be forgiven for the most inhuman, evil, hate filled acts.

I want them to see the Christians they tried to destroy remain strong in their faith. That this and other violent acts will not turn them from you. That the Christian community in Pakistan come together, to help and strengthen each other – and to know that Christians around the world are praying for them and standing with them.

And I want them to forgive. I want them to hear your Son’s words on the cross

“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

And to live his example. For this is where evil is defeated, at the cross and at an empty tomb.

I have no right to ask.

But I know that your grace gives me the opportunity.

So, please. I plead and beg that in all of this evil, death and terror that your will be done.

Forever.

In Jesus name.

Amen.

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