Too Hard to Talk About

I’m having a hard time getting my mind around what happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. I know I am not alone.

Here are some of the thoughts and issues running through my mind.

First, I am amazed at the neighbor who confronted the shooter and actually wounded him and then joined a complete stranger to chase the killer. I listened to a riveting interview with Stephen Willeford. He said he felt that the Holy Spirit took hold of him and gave him clarity as he confronted the killer.

Mr. Willeford told how terrified he was as he ran out of his house barefooted to take on the murderer. It is an amazing story.

Second, it is also one of the saddest stories I can remember. Like the Charleston shooting, these were kind, loving, people who gathered as the Church to worship God. Eight members of one family died.

While some people are ridiculing the call to prayer, I can’t think of anything more powerful or helpful. What a privilege to call the names of people before the Lord of the universe. Let us be people who bless and remember this hurting church and community in prayer.

Third, the size of the church and the community make it even more tragic. I grew up in a town of 1,000 people. This town is about one-half that size. I know how close knit towns like this are. These are not strangers. It is people they saw often. I can see how difficult it will be to move beyond these events.

Finally, I hurt for the children–their children but also for your children. What do you speak to your children about what happened? I actually read a very helpful article about what to say. You can find it here.

This is not easy for any of us. We need to reassure one another that we will pray and that we will get through the pains of life together.

Last night I spoke with a mother in our church whose daughter has died. She gave testimony about the love of her church family to get her through this. It’s that way with all of us.

Let us be loving, kind, and strong as we seek to bless and help each other.


  1. craig babylon
    Nov 08, 2017

    Maybe those people who are ridiculing our praying should become more tolerant.

  2. Marlaine Peachey
    Nov 08, 2017

    I have to tell you when I read your blog the other day, for the first time I thought you missed it. You said you disagreed with whoever said it was caused by mental illness, it was just purely evil. I confess I didn’t know all the facts at that moment. And I know mental illness is a big issue right now. But as the day progressed and the facts began to be revealed, you couldn’t have said more truer words. I can’t even imagine what those precious people went through. My only relief comes from the fact that they were probably instantly with Jesus. Jesus said in this world we will have trouble, but not to worry, he has overcome. I thank God that I can trust Him, He is our hope and our peace. And while evil still exists, we serve a God who loves us and we can trust. We need revival in this world and in our country. We should all be on our knees til it comes.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[The Birth of Jesus Foretold] In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” — Luke 1:26-28 (NIV)