Read any newspaper or any on-line news page or turn your TV onto any news programme and you’ll find there’s nearly always news of someone somewhere having been murdered or seriously injured in what is said to be “an unprovoked attack”. Tragic events which shock the community in which the crime has taken place. Tragic events which devastate families and friendships.
It’s at these times when we as Christians are compelled to pray that God will provide comfort and solace to all those affected by the tragedy. In the days that follow the tragedy we continue to pray for the family and friends of the person killed.
In February this year the nephew of one of my managers was murdered in Blantyre in an unprovoked attack. At this time the community of Blantyre, the family and friends of Raemonn Gormley all voiced their disbelief and devastation at the death of a wonderful young man – I wrote about some of this in two blog posts in February, A Black Friday and Life Is Fragile.
Well on Friday this week the two men charged with Reamonn Gormley’s murder appeared in court in Glasgow. Meanwhile, one of Reamonn’s aunts, my manager, was at work…I was with my manager when she got news from her family on how things had gone at court…all I can say is she was very understandably emotional.
You can read details of the outcome of the accused’s appearances in court on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-13642552
If I’m honest I must admit that I stopped praying specifically for her, her family and Reamonn’s friends a number of weeks ago. It’s almost as if just because the immediate aftermath and media attentions, the funeral etc were all over, so the events of that tragic day and it’s impact of them, had gone from my mind. I felt very guilty, I felt I had failed as a Christian as although I had prayed for my manager’s family at the time of Reamonn’s death, I have failed to continue to offer the kind of support that both she and her family have needed.
The grief and devastation felt by the family and friends of any murder victim lasts a lifetime, not just a few days, weeks or months. So I ask that you like me, you will make a promise today to continue to pray for the families and friends of all murder victims, no matter whether the crime occurred yesterday, last week, last month, last year or indeed many years ago. Their pain and grief will never go away, although through our prayers and our support we can help them be strong enough to face another day in the knowledge that God is always with them, and that their loved one is at peace in God’s presence.