The Aurora, Colorado, shootings on July 20, 2012, hit a lot of people hard—including me. This weekend, as the pictures of people who lost their lives slowly emerged, it became even more real for me. Faces (more so than names) always prompt me to try and imagine who the people behind the photos actually were before their lives horrifically ended.
Several of my friends and acquaintances expressed similar sentiments upon processing the tragic news: “I want to move to a rural area”; “You just can’t leave the house anymore”; I’m scared to bring kids into this crazy world.”
I, too, felt like curling up and just staying home—safe and away from potential crazed gunmen who lurk in unsuspecting places and possess no respect for the dignity and worth of every human life.
But we can’t do that.
When we live in fear, the devil wins. When people shrink into anonymity, associate with few and trust no one, evil scores.
We are Christ’s hands and feet on earth. We have the potential to BE the gospel message every day if we choose, through our words and actions. We can’t bring Jesus to others if we live in constant paranoia and retreat within ourselves.
At times, I have to remind myself that God is masterfully guiding our lives, and when our time on earth has ended, there is a reason—one beyond our understanding. If we’ve accepted Jesus into our heart, then we should have nothing to fear anyway.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In closing, here is a prayer for those affected by the Aurora shooting from one of our authors, Mark Shea:
May God grant eternal rest to the dead, swift healing to the survivors, consolation, grace, strength and peace to all who love them and mercy to the man who did this monstrous thing. Mother Mary, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Photo: Mykola Velychko/PhotoXpress