Archives For tragedy

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.

The Meaning of a Year

January 3, 2011 — 2 Comments

1492

1776

1861

1918

1941

1963

1968

2001

These all were important and memorable years in American History.  We remember some of the above because of tragedy and some because of triumph.  In some of those years, there was both.

2011 marks an important year.  Some see it as a dreaded 10th anniversary of terror and tragedy.

For me I choose to remember 2001 differently.  2001 was the year I remember embracing adulthood and moving to work in Scotland.  I took risks.  I became a Young Life Leader.  I was robbed.  One of my best friends got married.  One of my other great friends and I went on an amazing golfing roadtrip through the southeast.  When I finally began a “real” job that year, It became evident that the world was changing faster than ever before for me.  Looking back, it was an special year with many ups and downs.

It is important to remember the experiences, appreciate the fruit and learn from our years.

Today in 2011, I am hopeful.  I will experience  the date 11/11/11, make new friends, and spend more time with family.  I am enthused about my job as this is the most exciting time in publishing since Gutenberg invented the printing press.  I am even convinced that there will be hardships and mistakes.

In the end, we will triumph.

PS  Have hope because according to Back to the Future Part II, in just 4 years we’re supposed to be flying around in our cars.  Good Lord, help me.  My daughters will be 16 in no time.