A Prayer for the Violence In Nashville

Metro police are searching for two men who killed a manager and a teenage employee during an armed robbery Friday night at Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders on White Bridge Road.

Restaurant manager Chris Caris, 33, of Hermitage and employee Joshua Cole, 18, of Nashville died from gunshot wounds, said Don Aaron, Metro police spokesman.

2 pizzeria workers killed in armed robbery – Nashville, Tennessee – Saturday, 10/27/07 – Tennessean.com.

Loving God,
I woke this morning to find this headline,
another in a long line of headlines this week
    where brother takes up arms against another,
    where the innocent suffer and die at the hands
    of those who think violence grants them power.
The litany of pain, of hurt, of death goes on,
    and it is easy to fall into fear,
    to lose our faith in humanity,
    and to descend into the depths of mistrust and cynicism.
We know, O God
    that this has been part of our story forever,
    since Cain decided that it was better to kill his brother
        than to seem him receive the favor of the creator.
It is easy to find ourselves asking why,
    and there is no easy answer.
What we do know is that we have enabled a world
    in which love does not reign supreme,
    where men and women are raised to think that
        power and control can be gained
            at the end of a gun,
            through a bomb on the side of the road,
            or through words that hurt rather than heal.
We don’t know what those who committed this crime were thinking,
    but we ask you to burn through the scars covering their hearts,
    convict them of their sin,
    make them realize that there are mothers and spouses
        who grieve today,
    you, creator of us all, have the power to burrow through the
        layers of abuse, scorn, and hatred that led these men to kill.
And God,
    be with those who grieve the senseless loss of loved ones.
    Comfort will not easily come, but be their comforter anyway.
    Peace will elude them, but be their peacemaker anyway.
    They will likely be filled with hate, the desire for retribution,
        so hold their hands, and fill them with love,
        so that they may be witnesses to your glory,
        and the triumph of your kingdom.
And while you are at it God,
    help us here in Nashville
        to create a place in which violence is not seen
           as a viable option,
    a place where justice and love reigns supreme,
    a place where fear is cast aside,
    a place that looks a little bit like your kingdom.
We believe you can do it.
So do it.

Update: The police have identified this man as the primary suspect, a former worker of the restaurant that was fired. Read here for more info.



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