Trinity Ottoson-Smith, age 8, is the second young child to fall victim to senseless gun violence in Minneapolis. She lost her fight after 12 days Thursday evening. Her father Raishawn Smith, “God got her now.” wrote on his social media. May her light shine on in eternity. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) That her suffering in this life would cease. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)
This Memorial Day weekend families will gather, participate in parades, visit cemeteries and memorials, using this time of honoring men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military, rightfully so. The Civil War may have ended in the spring of 1865, but there is another war that needs immediate attention, the War against Guns and Street Violence. Unfortunately, Trinity’s parents and loved ones will gather to plan the funeral service to honor her young life cut short way too soon.
With tender hearts, we offer this scripture and prayer:
For the Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. (Lamentations 3:31-32)
Dear Mothering Father God, we bring every grieving parent, relative, and friend of Trinity’s into your throne of grace, that they might receive mercy. Lord, they are going through a lot of pain and heart ache as a result of her death. It is not an easy thing for a parent to bury their child. God of compassion comforts them. Fill them with a deep sense of peace and grace. Move the community around them to help and support them to gain justice. Help them to continue being faithful to you even through the pain. Surround them with your love and fill the void left in their hearts with hope. Asking, oh God, that each day they will grow stronger, your light shine in their moments of darkness, and that the joyful memories of Trinity sustain them.
In the spirit and powerful name of Jesus, we believe and pray. Amen.
Rev. Babette Chatman