It’s taken me several days to formulate the words to describe what my heart is feeling. Friday morning I awoke to the news of a mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, CO.
I am sure all of you have heard about it: It was the midnight premiere of the Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises”. As movie-goers sat in the dark theater, a masked gunman threw a teargas bomb into the audience, then opened fire. By day-break there was 12 dead, 58 injured.
I have lived in Colorado for 23 years. Hearing the news of this tragedy took me back to the emotions I felt the day of the Columbine High School shootings. Could something that horrific be happening again to my beloved city? It’s just too close to home. I struggle to make sense of it.
How do we make sense of senselessness?
Why would this young man CHOOSE to cause so much death and heartache to so many innocent people? Was his life so bad that he felt he had to destroy other people’s lives? What drove him to execute this plan? Did he once question the plan? Did he question if he was crazy? Is he crazy, or does he know exactly what he is doing?Why?
Did he know he had a choice?
On Sunday, our Pastor read from the Book of James. He talked of perseverance in faith even when life’s circumstances seem hopeless.
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” ~James 1:3 NLT
Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one, felt lost and confused, overwhelmed with despair, grief, exhaustion, or depression. But it’s how we persevere that counts. It’s hard to see perseverance when you’re smack-dab in the middle of a tragedy of this magnitude.
The challenge is not to lose heart in times of trial or tragedy. We have a choice in how we handle these trials. We can let the senselessness harden our heart; or we can take faith in and let it fill our heart.
We may never truly understand why. I only pray we find the courage to move through this tragedy with love and understanding.
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” ~Walter Elliott, The Spiritual Life