Just hours after tragedy struck, one 15-year-old student from Arlington, Texas, joined her community in prayer not just for the four people injured by a gunman who opened fire in her school Wednesday, but for the shooter himself.
"I want to pray for the shooter, Lord God," said Ashlyn Henson, praying through tears. "That you'd touch his mind. Touch his heart, Jesus. That You allow him to see his wrong. That You allow him to feel that remorse and that pain he caused. And that he fixes himself in Your eyes, Lord God."
Henson shared her grief during an evening prayer service at Cornerstone Baptist Church, where the youth minister, Al Curley, reminded the community those horrible things happen because of the sin in the world, urging them to turn to Jesus for solace.
"When tragedy strikes, it is important, friends, for you and I to realize that, even though we might be feeling what we feel, there's a place that we can go," Curley said. "There's a God that we can run to. ... The Bible tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn."
"As Christians," he continued, "we know that sin is the cause of why many things happen. And we know the answer to that problem is Jesus. We know the feeling of pain and we know the joy of salvation. But along the road of life, things happen, situations occur, tragedy strikes. And the way that we have the handle on it without falling off the handle is, sometimes, we've got to learn how to grieve."
He went on to urge fellow believers to "proclaim hope" in the midst of despair.
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