It goes without saying that evil exists in this world, and I know that I am not the only one who hates it, abhors it, and despises it. I also know that God is bigger than any evil that rears it’s head in our world.
I worked shifts for a retailer at the Clackamas Town Center Mall in Oregon. I’ve shopped there. I spent five years working in a local mall and partnered on several occasions in stopping theft, fights, and other potential violence. In my city, there have been far too many teenagers who simply lose all hope and end their futures pre-maturely--one life is too many to lose! I am completely heart broken for the families, friends, and community in Newtown, Connecticut. They experienced the face of evil in a way that we all cry out should simply never be experienced. The same is true for those who experienced the horror in Aurora, Colorado. All over this nation, all over this world, we are seeing the dark get darker. My question is, where do we look to see the light getting brighter?
If it were me, my family, my friends, I would not want to be engaging in, or listening to a debate or argument about guns, or violence in entertainment, or how to politically fix these issues with new laws etc. No. That would be the last thing on my mind. I would be mourning, looking for some comfort, and wishing things were different. I would be crying out to God with an ache that seems impossible to relieve. My best friend has pointed this out, and I agree. Let us be considerate in our tone, let us be compassionate and respectful. Let us remember that these are people who feel, whose lives have just been forever changed...As my best friend said to me, “What would you want people to say to you if you were on the other end of this?” To those involved in this tragedy, to those in my community who are grieving their losses, and to those in Aurora, I am so sorry you have to walk through this. It is not fair. I will carry this cross with you and pray. It may not sound like much, but I know God is the best at providing comfort. So, I will pray with you and for you. I will cry with you and for you. One day, when healing has come, I will rejoice with you, but for now, I mourn with you and will keep watch for the hope that is coming, and the hope that is here.
Max Lucado posted a prayer in response to the tragedy in Newtown and it has struck a chord that humbles me.
A Christmas Prayer
by Max Lucado • December 14
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
(Click here to see this post on Max Lucado’s blog)
Let us look for the light, the candle that God is offering us through this darkness! May it set us ablaze to be a people who Love and honor life!
With a heavy, yet hopeful heart,