When I first heard of the recent tragedy in Las Vegas – so many killed and wounded – my first thought was of the shooter. It wasn’t thoughts of anger or sadness – it was simply ‘how deeply was this man injured that he would pour his grief out on innocent people’. Yes, I feel deeply for the victims; but I’m also feeling a measure of compassion for a man who, in his darkest hour, felt it necessary to hurt so many other people.
It is men (and women) like this shooter who are grievously wounded beyond the help of mankind who do the most mass damage in this world. Humans who have lost their humanity and respect for life because they have turned their backs on the God Who loves them, the God Who created them and the only One who can touch their pain and heal it.
It is hard to realize that God loves even those whom we consider to be most heinous, but love them He does. And what is even harder to realize and accept is that God wants us to love them as well – even with all their hatred and violence and blood lust. There, but for the Grace of God, go I.
Some may ask, ‘why did God do this terrible thing?’ or ‘why did God allow this indescribable suffering?’. But the hard fact is that God did not do this nor did He allow it. It happened because humankind allowed it, because man did this.
God gave His children free will and He will not violate the sanctity of that gift. Above all He desires our love and worship because we want to give it to him. Love without the freedom to love is not love but fear; and fear begets all manner of tragedy in our lives.
I write this not to diminish the suffering of the victims – theirs’ is an incomprehensible, deeply felt pain – one that only God will be able to fully heal. But, instead, I write this to offer hope in a scary world. Faith does not remove the pain from our lives; faith makes the pain bearable.
Whatever your belief is, Whomever your vision of God is, or even if you do not believe in God, know that He loves you beyond anything you can even begin to imagine. He waits patiently for you to turn your face to Him, reach out with your heart and ask for Him.
Jeremiah 29:13-14 – You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.