Tragedy, Comfort, Hope?

Vigil RainbowI have struggled with writing something about the tragedy in Huntington early Sunday morning when 4 teenagers were murdered less than half a mile from our home.

The killings occurred in the shadow of Marshall's former Fairfield Stadium, just a few doors down from where our Crossroads Transitional Living Program was located for several years. I spent many nights there working through the night with clients the same age as the victims.

It is a devastating and shocking loss.

It seems impossible to try to make sense of such a tragedy. Four teenagers murdered, just a few hours after two of them had attended their prom together -- still wearing their prom attire.

Despite the sadness there was a feeling of hope that spread through the crowd gathered for a candlelight vigil on Monday night. The clouds were dark in the sky and rain fell on the crowd, but soon the rain was replaced in the sky by a brightly colored rainbow.

It was a sign of hope for our community.

I'm not sure what to make of everything (and I am open to suggestions), but I can't help being encouraged by the important symbolism of rainbows in scripture.
Genesis 9:16
Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I (God) will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

I pray in the name of Jesus for God's comfort for the families and friends of those who were lost. I pray for God's presence for our community. I pray for God's transforming love to reach those who committed these acts.

Lord, by your power may something positive come from this tragedy, so that your love and abiding peace may be known by everyone throughout our community and beyond.