The New Norm…

Tragedy can strike at any time…

Last night in Colorado an entire movie theater of people experienced tragedy they’ll never forget. A lone gunman walks into a packed theater, throws tear gas and opens fire. 12 people die and 59 more are injured.

It used to be that these stories were not something you heard about everyday. It seems like more and more, they are becoming the norm in our society. I used to think these things only happened in other parts of the world where terrorists lived, but in my lifetime these events seem to be increasing.

I read an article today in the Detroit Free Press by Rochelle Riley. The author is sounding the alarm for America to ban weapons. She’s ticked off… and so are we (the people who think guns stop crime) dang it!

Whenever a tragedy like this happens in the U.S. you know that both sides of the gun debate will use it to tell you why they’re right. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.

When things like this happen, my humanity says, “I want justice!” Quite frankly, the Godly side of me also wants justice. I believe God does too. Do I know how He’ll meet out that justice? No, but I know He is just.

Nobody really knows what to do in these situations. Our emotions and that sense of justice that I believe God has put in us wants James Holmes dead. We want revenge, we want him to suffer for what he took from 12 mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters and for the horror he put many more through.

How do we stop these things from happening? Do we have armed guards in all public places? Maybe it’s inevitable. I don’t want America to become the Wild West again, but it certainly does seem like having honest Americans armed would solve some of the problems… but it would obviously create more at the same time.

Most of the time, Evil sneaks up on us. It starts with a well placed thought in the head of a person hurting or angry. Then, they let that thought grow and the Evil takes over. Next thing you know, you have Columbine, Virginia Tech or 9/11. The devil is always looking for ways to destroy us and when his evil ideas are carried out, it’s often a tragedy that causes us to ask why this happened and how we could’ve stopped it.

Maybe we can’t stop it. Maybe we live in a messed up world filled with messed up people who are looking for answers and sometimes they just give up. Maybe they are so hurt and angry that they want others to suffer too. It makes me wonder what a kind word to someone might mean to them. It makes me realize that there are so many people hurting out there that don’t know how much God loves them. They think no one is on their side. They think no one cares. I’ve been there, you have too. Thank God, someone in your life let you know you mattered.

When tragedy strikes, we want justice. Before tragedy strikes again, think about someone you know who feels unloved. Find someone down on their luck. Reach out to someone in need. Forgive someone who wronged you. Ask someone to forgive you. Rebuild broken relationships. Love one another.

Guns or lack of guns won’t kill off Evil… but LOVE does.

I love what 1 John 4 says:

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him…

…no one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.

- The Message

My prayer on days like this is not just for the families and people who’ve experienced tragedy like this. I also pray that I’d learn to love like God and receive the love He’s given me so I can give it away to those who feel unloved.

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One thought on “The New Norm…

  1. scotzwife says:

    Your post makes ne think of this: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21 NIV84)

    You’re right, my first reaction is to want justice and vengeance, but as a believer I am called to behave differently. And it’s hard, and some people won’t understand, and that’s why the road is narrow.

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