Let’s face it. It was a bad week.
If you are an American, you must be sleeping under a rock to miss the fact that this past week a gunman marched into an Aurora, Colorado movie theater to shoot and kill 12 people while wounding 58. I left my phone on by my side that night and the news alerts started beeping at 2:30 am. The emotions I felt after hearing the news was probably most like you. Sadness. Confusion. Anger. Fear. Disgust. Hopelessness. Add to it the news of key leaders within Penn State University covering up child sexual abuse for almost 13 years, I had enough. My emotion became rage.
I pay pretty close attention to the news and you might have missed a few other tragedies this past week. I can understand why the media focuses so much on the most dramatic stories like Aurora but when we identify with the tragedy in a closer way and perhaps even know the lost, it hits harder. Here is some of what happened.
- 103 people were killed in one single day in Iraq
- A typhoon hit Hong Kong
- 15 people in southeastern Texas were killed in a tragic truck accident
- 3 dead in Chicago in gang fights with 17 injured
- 2 little girls were abducted in Iowa
- Famed first female American astronaut Sally Ride passed away
- I met a friend this week whose young son passed away in December
- My friend’s friend committed suicide
The classic line in the outlandish comedy, Airplane (1980) sums it up,
Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
Joking aside, these are the reminders that it is not supposed to be this way. We live in a fallen world. It’s not the way God intended it to be but we have to live with it. Death is a reality and it’s just a matter of how, when, and why. You can’t escape it. Years ago when I made a decision to follow Christ, it didn’t take long to recognize that my decision would not necessarily solve all my problems. I probably feel more attacked as a Christian than I did not really understanding Jesus. It’s a journey and a process and everyday I learn something new. I also have plenty of questions, especially in weeks like these. God points me to scripture.
Isaiah 65:17 (NIV)
“See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind.
God knows our pain and weeps with us. I don’t want to give up on this world and God sure doesn’t either. He never has and never will until it is his time. The pain on earth always points me back to the first Bible verse I learned after accepting Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
That is exactly why he sent Jesus to die for us. So that we may be in him knowing that in the end there is place where these tears will never appear again.
This tragedy also guides me to the honest, courageous and confident words from Cassie Bernall, a student who was killed at Columbine High School in 1998.
P.S. Honestly, I want to live completely for God. It’s hard and scary. but totally worth it.
See you in heaven, Cassie. I hope to see all of you.