Pastor Frank Pomeroy of First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs and I probably disagree on many things. Although we both embrace Jesus as our Savior, we probably disagree in our Biblical interpretation, our theology, and subsequently our politics. But he is my brother in Christ and I am deeply thankful for him today.
He is being a brave and faithful pastoral leader to a heartbroken church while also grappling with his own grief and doubts. As we sit at table today – whether that table is in a restaurant, a familiar dining room, or a kitchen corner, there could be people there with us with whom we disagree. But they are an essential part of our lives and we are called to connect with each one.
This is a good day to pray with and for each other. We can be thankful even for the not-so-obvious blessings.
And as a PS today, this article sparks so many other important conversations for traumatic times. The quotations are all from Frank Pomeroy.
- “It is hard to be strong for everyone else when I have my own heartache.” This man lost his own daughter and many, many friends in the shooting. Please remember that pastors also grieve and break.
- “Those reports hurt a lot of people who needed the church to grieve.” It was reported that the church building would be razed, but actually, this has not been decided. Please stop repeating false information because it hurts people.
- “I tried to talk to him a few times but he wouldn’t listen or engage.” Mr. Pomeroy knew the shooter and he had tried to build a relationship with him. Sometimes reconciliation is not possible – at least in this life.
- “I think that if I were there I could have done more, but who is to say?” I, for one, am grateful he was not there because his congregation needs him now in a way that nobody else could possibly offer.
- “It is encouraging that although there was one bad guy who tried to steal the day, thousands of good people have stood up in support.” Let’s be those supportive people, standing not only with victims of gun violence and domestic abuse, but also standing with victims of LGBTQ bullying, sexual harassment, emotional abuse, and ecclesiastical malpractice.
God has blessed us beyond measure. We were created to share those blessings with others – even those with whom we disagree. Happy Thanksgiving!