November 09, 2017
Four days ago, most people outside of Texas had never heard of Sutherland Springs or knew the 26 names who were senselessly killed there. Now, a half week after the small-town nightmare, their stories have tugged at the hearts of millions of people around the world. The couple mourning three generations of losses. The pregnant mom, who was expecting her first child with the husband she met at the church. The little children, one the pastor's own daughter.
Another community, ripped apart by violence. But putting on a brave face, the survivors are living out the faith that cost most of the congregation their lives. To a hurting nation, frayed by so many divides, Sutherland Springs is the picture of grace, compassion, and love so many Americans need. A small town with a big witness, they came together yesterday to try to cope with what happened. Vice President Mike Pence was there, with his wife, Karen, trying desperately to comfort people after the unfathomable.
"Words fail when saints and heroes fall," Pence said solemnly. "We mourn with those who mourn and we grieve with those who grieve, but we do not grieve like those who have no hope. Our faith gives us hope. Heroes give us hope... If the attacker's desire was to silence their testimony of faith, he failed. The witness of faith in that small church and that small town now echoes across the world."
Attorney General Jeff Sessions came, along with Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who took the moment to thank God for the heroes who saved lives in the town's darkest moment. "We will not be overcome with evil. Together we will overcome evil with good," he said. With tears streaming down their faces, people who had driven dozens of miles to pay their respects, listened as a man with a guitar played the worship song, "Good Good Father."
While liberals debate possible solutions to the string of shootings, Governor Abbott knows exactly where to look. In a nod to the deep faith of -- not just Sutherland Springs, but all of Texas -- he called the state to unite in a day of prayer this coming Sunday, November 12. "Texans remain strong and resilient, with the support and care of our helping communities. Throughout our history, we have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer. It is right that the people of Texas should join with their fellow citizens and with others from across the country and around the world to seek God's comfort, grace and healing in this time of crisis."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.