I lived a pretty sheltered life growing up. It wasn’t Maybery RFD, but it was quiet and peaceful. I never worried about being a victim of a crime.
I think my first experience in the “real world” came after my sophomore year in college. I spent that summer (1986) working as an intern in a church outside of Miami, FL. There was a Christian college in Miami that I wanted to visit. People in the church told me to make sure I could get to and from the school before dark, to go during a weekday, not weekend, and in the neighborhood surrounding the college, to never allow my vehicle to get blocked in at a traffic light or stop sign. People told me, “Always make sure you leave yourself a way to get out of danger.” The college was in a rough neighborhood. My trip to that school was quite an adventure!
After my experience in Miami, I returned to my sheltered life…until September 11, 2001. On that day, my sheltered life was forever shattered. For me, nothing has been the same since that day. I never go to a sporting event, mall, or any large gathering without thinking about the possibility of an act of violence or terrorist attack. Several years ago, for 6 months, I drove back and forth from Nashville to Little Rock. Every time I went over the Mississippi River on I-40 into Arkansas (or back into Tennessee), I looked up to make sure no planes were about to fly into the bridge.
No one should have to think like that.
But the one place I never imagined anything horrific happening was at the movies. People go to the movies to escape reality. They don’t go there to be shot by a mad man. Both of my kids have attended midnight previews of various movies. I could not imagine something happening to them like what happened to the people in Colorado.
But I guess no place is safe. I remarked to my wife today that for years people in Israel have lived with the fear that they could be sitting in a local coffee shop and a bomb explode.
As I have reflected on the tragic events in Colorado today, here are some things that have come to my mind.
- Tell the people close to you that you love them.
- You cannot protect yourself from tragedy so live your life and don’t be afraid.
- You never know when you will die, so live life to the fullest.
- Living life to the fullest means being totally surrendered to Jesus Christ.
- Evil is real.
- God is sovereign, yet in His sovereignty bad things happen. He is not the author of evil, but He allows evil to happen. Only He knows why.
- I believe in the doctrines of prevenient grace and common grace.
- As bad as the world is now, can you imagine how bad it would be if God did not extend prevenient and common grace to humanity?
My heart is broken for the families directly affected by today’s tragedy. I pray for them.
I also pray for James Holmes and his family.