Words alone are not sufficient to express our profound grief as we learn the details of the terrible tragedy in Connecticut, and the great loss of life there. We have experienced so much tragedy and loss in recent months and days, including the terrible tragedy in Oak Creek and other violence. When one human life is treated as expendable, all of us are diminished.
As people of faith we find it nearly impossible to comprehend, and even harder to understand. Our hearts and minds are overwhelmed with sadness as we witness the terrible loss of the families whose children were killed. I invite you to join me in prayer as we ask God to bring comfort and peace where there is no comfort and no peace. I ask that we as Wisconsin United Methodists, not only pray for those who are directly affected, but for the people of Connecticut and our entire nation as we seek to join together for comfort and strength.
We also pray for the transformation of all within each of us that feeds anger, hatred, or a desire to feel superior to others. A story attributed to the Cherokee People comes to my mind. An elder is teaching his grandchildren about life. He says to them, “A terrible fight is going on inside me – a fight between two wolves. One wolf is fear, anger, and the need to be superior. The other wolf is joy, kindness, and the blessing of living cooperatively with others. After a pause, one child asks, “Which wolf will win?”. The elder replies, “The one we feed.”
As we pray for all in places of grief and violence this day, let us pray that we will learn to feed the joy, kindness, and the blessing of living in peace with each other.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).