Friends in Christ:
The recent events in Waukesha, related to the trial of Darrell Brooks and his eventual conviction on multiple counts related to the 2021 Waukesha Christmas Parade attack, have been difficult and challenging on many levels. While I am grateful that the jury reached this verdict, I recognize that this is but one small step on a long and painful road of healing. I invite us all to continue to hold in prayer all who have been impacted by this tragedy: for the victims and their families, many of whom were re-traumatized by needing to participate in the trial, recounting their experiences and reopening wounds that had not fully healed; for the first responders and all who have provided support and aid for the victims, their families, and the entire Waukesha community, who have come together and strengthened the bonds of community; and for Darrell Brooks himself, the deeply troubled man who has caused so much pain and grief. We may never know why he made the choices he made that day, we may never understand the forces that made him the person he is, but we can pray that he will come to a deeper understanding of himself and his place in this world, that he will take responsibility for his actions, and that he will find a way to participate in the healing process that God intends for us all.
As we move forward from this painful time, working to build strong and resilient communities of peace, compassion, and hope, I pray that we will not fall victim to the forces of fear and division, but instead seek that paths that lead to reconciliation and understanding. I pray that we will work together to provide the resources needed to address the mental and emotional trauma experienced by so many. And I pray that God will continue to comfort us, guide us, and lead us on the long and tentative road toward healing.
“Goodness is stronger than evil;
Love is stronger than hate;
Light is stronger than darkness;
Life is stronger than death;
Victory is ours through God who loves us.”
– Desmond Tutu, Evangelical Lutheran Worship #721