Unspeakable Violence

On Friday I followed to the horrible news about the killings in Newtown, Connecticut – just a few miles from where I grew up. My heart goes out to families of those who were so senselessly killed. Further, I stand amazed at the escalation of such violence in America. We are becoming one of the cruelest nations on earth – – people acting out their personal frustration or anger in terrible, antisocial ways. I really don’t know what to say – except that my heart is broken. A colleague of mine called attention to the wonderful African American spiritual, “There Is a Balm in Gilead”:

Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus and say, “He died for all.”
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.

Don’t ever feel discouraged, for Jesus is your friend;
And if you lack for knowledge, He’ll never refuse to lend.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.