After the good news, the sad news

Published 5:33 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2016

There were a few hours this past Sunday that were good, but the majority of the day was sad. Orlando.

When I left for church, early in the morning, the news was breaking. There had been another of those awful shootings. Folks, we are having too many of those. One would be too many, but it seems as if we are having one every week somewhere in our country or the world. Something’s wrong.

As I left home Sunday morning, the news was bad enough when the suggested number of victims was twenty. Again, one would have been too many. It’s a sad commentary when we are relieved by a low number. Twenty would not have been a low number.

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Later, when I saw the number fifty dead, I gasped. Fifty people, and so young by my age count these days, was shocking to my sensibilities. Another fifty wounded and in hospitals. I wanted to throw my hands up and scream, “What is going on?”

Just a few hours earlier, I had been in church. We prayed as we always do and acknowledged the mess that is called the United States of America these days.

At one of my churches, we had a little girl come forward and profess her faith in Jesus Christ. Her daddy and mother, grandmothers and granddaddies, an aunt and an uncle were there and we proclaimed what a wonderful decision she was making.

She is seven years old and probably has no idea as to the chaos reigning in the world outside the four walls of that church. All she knew was that her family and church were happily celebrating the fact that she had placed her life in the hands of a Savior.

I shudder to think what sort of world little Tinsley will experience, but the decision she made Sunday has placed her in the arms of One who will never leave her. That’s Good News.

I drove from the early church to Sutton Chapel looking forward to the service. Our pianist Walter Goodman and his twin, Winfred, were going to sing and play. I would not have to preach and would simply sit back and enjoy their wonderful gifts of the Gospel in Music. That would be Good News, too.

During the hour, we sang “How Great Thou Art” and prayed again for the country we all love so much. We can never pray too much for the United States of America.

My favorite song of the set that Walter and Winfred played was a song about prayer. The great songwriter, Dottie Rambo, wrote the song and its title is “I Just Came to Talk with You, Lord.” The gist of the song is that it was time for a simple sit-down and talk with the Lord.

There would be no asking for anything. Instead, just an acknowledgement of all the times He had helped and not been thanked. There would be no selfish motive, just an intimate conversation with the Lord. The tune was sweet and soothing, just like the talk would be.

As I listened, I thought of how it would be so wonderful if we all would stop and put aside all of our cares and troubles. I thought of all the troubles we are having. All the hatred and divisions throughout the nation.

On Sunday morning, I heard and experienced the Good News, then came home to the sad.

In the words of the song, it is time for our nation to sit down and say, “I just came to talk with you, Lord.”