I’ve been documenting (most of the time) my journey through the Lent Experiential Calendar. Today: Read or watch and pray through the local news.
I’m not quite a news junkie – but I do follow the national news, especially politics. I read the NYT, I listen to a handful of newstalk & political podcasts, etc.. National news is interesting, intellectually stimulating, and of course, riveting (read: sequester, fiscal cliff, FLOTUS’s new bangs, etc.). But national news, while sometimes affecting us on a day-to-day level, most of the time is of symbolic value (and distraction). And unfortunately, with the continuing shrinking of journalists and therefore increasing syndication, national news is more prominent than ever.
But the task today is to pray through the local news. And I’m in a city that is fortunate enough to still have a local paper (although, most of its content is from the wires). And even more fortunate to have a local edition of Patch.com. And so part of this morning was spent praying through the local news.
Local news is challenging to pray through. Seagate is moving into the old Solyndra building – so I guess I praise God for the jobs and tax base? One of the local middle schools is considering a mildly controversial name change – so I pray that this will bring the community together? A robbery & false imprisonment suspect is at large – Lord, let’s catch that sucker! This stuff actually affects my local community, but it’s a lot harder to imagine the kingdom-goal I’m praying for; it’s a lot easier to pray that Congress will finally do something, or that the President will be just. It’s like trying to pray through an episode of Parks & Rec.
But this is a challenge I want to take up permanently. In fact, I’d love to get to the point where at the mention of any local news, my first reaction is to pray – even if you can’t tell I’m praying.
The story that has stuck with me this morning, though, is about a local police shooting late Saturday night. Right outside of where our church meets on Sundays, a man was shot by two Union City police officers, who allegedly pulled a gun out on them. He’s now dead. And his identity was just released. His name was Amos G. Smith, a resident. It’s too late now to pray for Amos. But I prayed for his family, his neighborhood, the police officers, and for truth to prevail as they investigate.
If you have a chance, please pray along.