Last night a gunman entered a cinema in Aurora, Colorado during a midnight showing of the new Batman film and opened fire. Fifty people were injured and out of that number fourteen were killed. Among the wounded was a four month old baby. On the BBC website I listened to an audio recording of a man describing how he and his wife escaped to safety; for a while he was separated from his children to ensure they got out unharmed.
Today my heart aches for the citizens of Aurora. It has only been thirteen years since the Columbine High School shootings and, once again, the people of Colorado are grieving for their loved ones because of the selfishness of an individual who, we can only assume, had lost all control of his mind; no sane person would do this.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families as the dust begins to settle in Aurora and people try to figure out what the next step to take is.
I’m not entirely sure what to say in this situation. I don’t want to patronise or belittle.
Events like this make you realise the importance of life. They make you realise that it’s a gift, that it’s not to be taken for granted. It baffles me that a four month old was injured, that God couldn’t have done more to stop that. These are the times I question Him.
But these are also the times that I realise that this isn’t the world He created. He didn’t plan evil, but He did allow freewill, because who would love a God who they were forced to love? It all goes back to Adam and Eve and the fall of man. Had Eve not eaten that fruit we wouldn’t be in this place. But if she hadn’t eaten it we wouldn’t know joy because we wouldn’t know pain. We wouldn’t need the hope of Heaven because everything on earth would already be perfect. We wouldn’t know Jesus, we wouldn’t know forgiveness, we wouldn’t know restoration, or reconciliation, or love.
God never wastes pain; I believe that He has something beautiful lined up for the citizens of Aurora. My prayer for them is that they will find good in this, that there will eventually be a positive outcome, that justice will be done, that the injured will come home from hospital soon and that the lives of those who died will impact their communities in ways that they never could have imagined.