This week the Faith in Memphis panel reflects on the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo.
My friend, Rob O’Neill, is the Episcopal Bishop of Colorado. As such, he has been directly involved in the aftermath of the shootings in Aurora. Rather than share my long-distance view, Bishop O’Neill’s “invitation” issued July 24th to his parishioners is a better starting place.
“It goes without saying that those who are wounded, those who have died, the families of victims, emergency responders, medical and law enforcement personnel, city and government officials, pastoral care providers and so on are in need of our prayer. But I would add, however, that a call to prayer is far more than a polite and consoling gesture.
“The greatest gift we have to offer one another is indeed our collective prayer – not merely kind wishes, not simply good intentions, but deep prayer – the ability to hold, tangibly and intentionally, others in that abundant love that flows freely and gracefully within us and among us. This has substance. This has weight and heft. This, and this alone, is the source of deep healing, lasting transformation and enduring peace.
“This is our inheritance and our gift – living waters for ourselves and for a world that thirsts for life.”
Bishop O’Neill’s invitation is for all of us. The Episcopal Church defines prayer as “responding to God, by thought and deeds, with or without words.” It is to this collective response we are invited. It can change the world.