Many of us woke up Sunday Morning to the tragic news of a shooting that resulted in the death and injury of teenage brothers and another teen being held in custody as a suspect. All three of the teens had connections to our Pathway Faith Community. Our staff, youth servants and safety team have been equipped and mobilized to respond in care for our youth in the coming days. Families of the teens are being cared for and prayed over.
Wednesday night youth will meet as scheduled and programming will be adjusted to serve the current need. Parents are always welcome in the church house on Wednesdays. Feel free to call the church if you need support and caring for your student or have questions about our Wednesday night programming. The shooting did not take place on our campus or during any of our programming but we intend to have a couple of police officers present anyway.
When tragedy strikes we have two clear options, give way and be consumed by the darkness or seize the opportunity to be light in the midst of the darkness. The human condition often evokes a knee-jerk reaction of blame, judgment and fear. I do not want to minimize the seriousness of what occurred, neither do I want us to compound the darkness by chiming in on speculation or making sweeping conclusions about the families involved or our community at large.
Burleson and our surrounding communities are a great place to live and raise a family. Our schools and churches are top-notch. Our police and city officials care about our citizens and take seriously their job to protect and keep the peace. We live in a broken world where bad stuff happens. No city, school, church or nation is immune. But we do have a choice in how we respond.
Even as I grieve with these families and our community, I choose to be a part of the solution by listening, praying for and reassuring those who are distraught, trusting that those in charge of the investigation will wade through the rumors and share the truth once the truth is known. I’m going to refrain from participating in social media speculation, blame or judgment. I’m going to trust that God is going to show up in the darkness and somehow turn tragedy into triumph. And I am going to ask God to use me to be a light in these dark days. Most of all, I’m going to practice love in all conversations, actions and decisions.
Peter wrote: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
I invite you to do the same. I am praying for you, please pray for the families involved and our community as a whole.