We see the news updates on our phones and can hardly believe what we are seeing. We turn on the TV and shake our heads, wordlessly, stunned at the carnage we once again witness in our broken world.

A morally lost 64 year-old man has killed more than 50 and wounded more than 500 attenders of an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. He’d probably never met any of them. The audio of machine gun fire, along with the video of thousands running, crouching, weeping, is almost more than our hearts and minds can handle.

We weren’t designed for this level of horror assaulting our senses. Yet in some part of the world indescribable violence is repeated on a regular basis. Mankind, even all creation, groans under the weight of sin.

As in the past, I turn to the honest, searching words of Romans for some degree of solace:

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:26-28 MSG

Lord, is there some way you might redeem even this horror? We can only hope.

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Very well done and so in tune with my thoughts these days. Your Dad and I used to brainstorm how we could further use Bethesda Hospital as a “Place of Kindness”. Those discussions brought forth the neighborhood visitation mobile clinic, dubbed “Caremobile” and the sheer delight of watching it grow and be a way to reach out and touch people in need living in the shadows of the hospital. It was a fitting testimony to God’s grace and care was rendered free like His Grace. It was staffed with two RN’s who loved the Lord.

  2. Thanks, Jim. I never heard about the Caremobile before. Perhaps you and Dad were ahead of your time.

  3. Craig – This from Rowan Williams (The Wound of Knowledge) seems fitting:

    The cry to God as “Father”
 in the New Testament
is not a calm acknowledgement
 of a universal truth about 
God’s abstract fatherhood.
 It is the child’s cry
 out of a nightmare.

It is the cry of outrage,
 fear, shrinking away,
 when faced with the horror
 of the ‘world’ 
– yet not simply or exclusively protest, but trust as well.

”Abba Father all things are possible to Thee” (Mark 14:36).

    • Thank you, Larry. I can relate to those emotions. I imagine this is what God saw for mankind in the Garden when “we” decided not to fully trust him and chose the Knowledge of Good and Evil instead. What a horror.

  4. Dear brother Craig,

    As I read your blog post, I was tempted to lay out a number of reasons why this horrific act should be no surprise to us. Then when I read Jim’s response to what you wrote I recognized my fleshly response would only exalt evil, when I should respond in the Spirit with the hope of the gospel.

    “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for HE WILL save his people from their sins.”” ‭Matthew‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    So as I pray for the victims and their families this horrific shooting, I keep in mind the hope of the gospel and choose to turn my eyes to Jesus.

    * Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full, in his wonderful face
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of your glory and grace

    * Chorus Hellen Howarth Lemel (1863-1961)

    • What a terrific hymn that is, Carl. Yes! We followers of Jesus, of all people, must not get paralyzed with either fear or anger. We are the ones who can bring a spirit of Hope in the midst of bewildering brokenness.

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