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From Pastor Taylor

Posted by Taylor Sandlin on with 2 Comments

Dear Church family,

Last Sunday, we gathered here at Sugar Land Baptist Church and worshiped together in the name of the Lord. By the time we returned home, we were starting to receive news of the terrible tragedy that had occurred at FBC of Sutherland Springs. There are absolutely no words that do justice to the magnitude of this tragedy. There seems to be so little that we can do that will help. Still, we look for words and actions that will help us face such difficult days. Here are three actions that have helped me this week.

Grieve. One of the most appropriate things we can do when faced with tragedy and death is to grieve. Grief can take the form of tears, sorrow, and even prayerful laments. When David’s friend Jonathan died, David took the time to compose a song on his behalf (2 Samuel 1:17-27). Poems or journal entries or prayers that name our grief help us heal. This is true even when the only prayer we can utter is, “This should not be.” When bad things happen and no one says a word, tragedy is heaped upon tragedy. We honor life when we grieve its absence and protest its violation. In the face of evil and tragedy, grieve.

Help. In moments like this, it is tempting to throw up our hands in despair or lash out at others in our anger. Remember Paul’s words, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). In the face of tragedy, look for ways to help others. It has been heartening to see the outpouring of support for FBC and the families who attend there from people from all walks of life. Our missions committee is in the process of making a donation to the church. I encourage you to do the same. If you can’t help victims directly, then look for some other opportunity to do good today. Our gospel declares that evil does not get the last say in our lives. Love does, so put love into action today.

Listen. I realize that this doesn’t seem like much in the face of a tragedy like this, but communities are strengthened when we listen to one another. It is clear that people have different opinions as to what should be done to help prevent shootings like this. With each shooting, those opinions seem to be ever more entrenched. Instead of talking to and with one another about a complex issue, we shout over one another. We seek to score points instead of understanding. Divides are deepened rather than bridged. As difficult as it is, attempt to listen this week to someone who has a different point of view from your own. Ask them, “How did you come to your point of view?” Put the emphasis upon listening rather than speaking. Listening builds trust, even if after listening we still don't agree with what we have heard. Trust provides the foundation for working together. It seems obvious that we need to work together if we are to build safer, more loving communities in the days ahead. 

Grace and peace,


Tags: blog, god, pastor, taylor, tragedy


Peter Leong November 9, 2017 1:01pm

Great comfort to us, well said!

Janet Castañeda November 9, 2017 1:48pm

Awesome advise after such a horrific tragedy like this. God Bless. Praying for FBC of Sutherland Springs.