Watching on TV the very moving memorial service in Dallas for the five police officers slain by a gunman on July 7, 2016, I felt unbelievably saddened by the loss of life – not only for these courageous men and their families, but for every loss brought about by misunderstanding, prejudice and hatred. I yearned more than ever to help bind up the divisions within our society that are at the root of such tragic events.
On the day after the shooting, people in Dallas came together for a prayer service in Thanks-Giving Square. We were all invited to join our fellow citizens in prayer for healing wherever we live. Thanks-Giving Square is a garden, chapel and museum in the heart of Dallas. During my own visit to this beautiful place years ago I was awakened to express more gratitude, and I am reminded today by the courageous voices heard in Dallas how mutual understanding, respect and reconciliation gather momentum through grateful acknowledgment and appreciation. I find that genuine thankfulness serves to silence inclinations that would alienate me from others, and enables me to recognize and fan each flicker of goodness wherever seen and felt until it becomes an irresistible force for progress.
Going forward I am inspired further, by a recent post, to draw on the well-spring of gratitude as we work toward healing for ourselves, our communities and our nation. I hope you, too, may find encouragement and support in reading “A Powerful Prayer for Dallas and the Nation.”