My heart&those of many go out to the victims of #Aurorashooting last night.WHF is our world coming to?Pls,pls we must change.Seriously.
~ Tweet by Ian Somerhalder
There is a dark evil, that lurks in the Hearts of men.! My prayers go out to the victims of the Colorado Theatre Killings… #God Loves
~ Tweet by Cedric the Entertainer
Like you, I’m horrified by the shooting in a Denver theater at a midnight opening of the latest Batman movie. I’ll be praying for the victim’s families, for those recovering psychologically and physically, and for James Holmes’ family (they must be in terrible shock at what their son has done).
As Cedric the Entertainer tweeted, there IS a great evil in the world. The Bible warns us in I Peter 5:8 … “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” He hates us and wishes to destroy us. But not necessarily in dramatic ways. He will plant clever thoughts, stroke our pride, and whisper soothing lies to us. He might blindside us with something major, but more often he may trick us with subtleties.
We can’t blame all evil on Satan, though. We have our own broken heart that may want to do good, but cannot:
The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? ~ Jeremiah 17:9 HCSB
God is the only one who can change our hearts:
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations. ~ Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27 NLT
Tragedies like this also remind us of how brief life can be. I just read that one of the victims who died in the Aurora shooting, Jessica Ghawi, narrowly missed being shot in the Eaton Center shootings in June, one month ago. She wrote at the time:
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life. (read more)
As Ian Somerhalder pleads, we MUST change. How much longer will we hold on to our lifestyles and attitudes that offend a holy God? We’ve known God’s favor for many generations, as Americans, however, we’ve faced many bombings, shootings, floods, storms, drought, and more, in recent months and years (not to minimize the other tragedies around the world to other peoples—my heart goes out to you, too).
God has told us how we can turn back His hand of judgment:
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
If you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, will you join me in seriously praying for those closely impacted by this tragedy, but also for yourself? Allow God to examine you closely and obey Him in whatever He prompts you to do. I highly recommend reading Dear Church, Please Rise (another response to the shootings by my friend, Jessica) to prayerfully consider what our response should be. We must change.
For all of us, nonbeliever, nonAmerican, Christian, I recommend this article to help you process this sad event: Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy?
Read the follow-up post: Moving Stories from the Aurora, Colorado Shootings
- How to Personally Begin a Relationship with God (everyperson.com)
- Where is God in the Midst of Tragedy? (everyperson.com)
- Celebrities React to Colorado Movie Theater Shooting (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- “Dark Knight Rises” shooting: Three Heroes died in Aurora taking bullets for their girlfriends (nydailynews.com)
- A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting: One Victim’s Story (celtic straits)