Beloved of God,
Words are inadequate to address the tragedy unfolding after a house fire in Baltimore city this morning. As I write this, it is known that five children succumbed to the fire, one other is missing, and the mother is in the hospital with three additional siblings. Many details will be investigated and examined over the coming days, but right now our collective hearts grieve the loss of these children, and the potential loss of another. It is unnatural to bury even one child; therefore, I cannot begin to fathom what this mother and other family members are experiencing at this time.
Even when our words fail and our intellect betrays us, we can turn to God and God’s Word for strength. The psalmist wrote, God is refuge and strength, a help always near in times of trouble. That is why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea, when its waters roar and rage, when the mountains quake because of its surging waves. Psalm 46: 1-3. May these words be our help, and may we offer them to anyone struggling with this news. I pray that all will refrain from drawing conclusions, passing judgment, or offering errant theology. Please join with me in prayer for everyone involved, including the first responders who continue to be present at the scene. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
Blessings and peace,
Bishop LaTrelle Easterling