A prayer of lament and grief for Bridgewater
Written by Brad Jenkins

Our community has suffered a great loss after an act of violence took the lives of a Bridgewater College police officer and a security officer. Today, we are praying this prayer as we mourn and lament.

We awake today, Lord, wishing it was a bad dream. But the headlines and news feeds remind us that it really did happen. 

Why, Lord? Why here in this community of peace and beauty? 

Why, Lord? Why does the destruction of violence and hatred continue to plague our nation, and now this small town in our Shenandoah Valley?

We are shaken by this act of evil. It has awoken in us grief and anger at the evil that is in our world. We don’t know what else to do right now, so we cry out to you, the God who sees, the God who welcomes us even with our questions and our grief and even our anger at the sin and brokenness of this world. We lament in grief and pain on behalf of our neighbors, friends and community. Lord, have mercy. 

We are hurting as we see our community in such pain. We cry for the families of the brave officers who died saving others. Rescue all who are in despair today. We need you. Lord, have mercy. 

The sin and brokenness of this world is heavy today, Lord. The darkness feels greater than the light. Hope is hard to find. Lord, have mercy. 

Amid the darkness of this day, we are desperate for Jesus. He said that He is the light of the world. And, oh, how we need light today. Jesus, please, we plead with you: Shine light upon our community.

For now, though, Lord, we sit in stillness, knowing that you are God. Though we may not feel that in this dark hour, we know it is true. And for now, that is what we cling to. 

Jesus, have mercy, for we pray it in your powerful and tender name. Amen.