MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Monday, August 12th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.
NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Trillia Newbell has been thinking about why it’s not a good idea after a national tragedy just, as they say, to “move on.”
TRILLIA NEWBELL, COMMENTATOR: I think there is a problem with our responses to controversy. It isn’t that we respond, though many could argue reasons why our responses aren’t helpful. Rather, it’s that we move on so quickly.
Over the August 2 weekend, two cities experienced the evil of back-to-back mass shooting: first in El Paso, Texas, then in Dayton, Ohio. Our nation was reeling.
Last week, I couldn’t open up a social media site without seeing the words El Paso and Dayton. I knew in my heart then that many of us would write about it and call attention to the tragedy and then we’d move on.
Right now those communities continue to mourn and search for healing. Families have lost loved ones, children have lost parents, and historically safe and peaceful communities must now stay on alert. But the rest of us have moved on.
Obviously, we can’t carry the weight of every sorrowful and tragic situation that makes headline news. Our sites and conversations will naturally move on to other things—normal life must resume. And only Jesus can truly carry the burden of all the tragedies in the world.
But in all our uproars and emotional responses, my hope is that we remember real people are involved in these situations. If we feel that the tragedy is important enough to write about, speak about, or share on social media, may I suggest that we also tuck away in our private lives to pray for these communities? And to take action where possible?
Before long, another confusing and dreadful situation will become a national news story. Most of us will know details only secondhand, though we’ll be expected to offer an opinion. So we must look first to God’s Word to be informed by His timeless guidance.
When we hear about the devastation all around us, we have marching orders to mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15) and to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17).
In recent days some pundits have criticized those who would offer prayers for the victims of these tragedies. But they don’t realize there is nothing more important that we can possibly do. And that’s why I’m praying we would continue interceding—long after the noise settles, and as we wait for the next controversial story to break.
Even if the nation and the news outlets move on, we don’t have to. Remembering reminds us that we are a part of humanity. Remembering will help us to not be shocked by the next event and instead be ready. Remembering will help us love our neighbor. Remembering reminds us daily of our great need of the Savior.
For WORLD Radio, I’m Trillia Newbell.