Friday, July 24, 2015

I See Dying People

My heart is broken for those who lost loved ones in the recent Charleston, Chattanooga and Louisiana tragedies. As in times past when such senseless things have happened, I've prayed for those left behind who will be forever bereaved. I've also mourned the loss of what once was a less scary time to live. 

I grieve for my children and what this means for them in terms of explanation and precaution as they teach their little ones to be on guard and aware of their surroundings. 

My grandchildren will grow up in an era that mandates vigilance because someone in the same public place may have no regard for his (or her) own life and might decide to do the unthinkable.

I am not a sociologist or psychologist, but I'm fascinated by people, trends and statistics. I do a good bit of reading and wondering, praying and pondering, and as I reflect on these most recent events I may have an explanation for the actions of these evil individuals: hopeless, miserable people want others to suffer alongside them.

We've heard it all our lives, "misery loves company." Death is the final victory of the enemy of mankind, and if someone hates his own life, there is just one reason: he doesn't know how precious he is to the One who created him.

Many hyperintelligent secular humanists loathe the notion that religion is the answer. Since I am neither, and am devout in my faith, it may be surprising to learn that I agree with them. At least in the sense that many and varied dangerous things fall under the banner of "religion" or "the religious."

From religious zealot extremists who think they are doing their god a favor by offing masses of people, to the misguided adherents of very theologically and Biblically unsound cultish sects, there have been disturbing and heinous acts committed in the name of religion. It would be disingenuous for any person of faith to ignore this, and yet we're often tongue-tied when it comes to offering a reasoned response.

My attempt may miserably fail, but here goes. Those of us who have been transformed by the wonder working, awe inspiring, soul redeeming grace of God may not be serious enough about the mandate we've been given to love others out of the darkness. We have so much more than religion to offer, we can promise them personal relationship with The Almighty through his Son, Jesus Christ. And if received, it will be transforming. Heart changing. Death defeating.

Yesterday, my daughter-in-law and her mom took the time to dialog with an individual who was so broken, so completely hopeless, that he was considering running into the highway traffic to end his life. They offered him living water. And truth. And love.

This divine appointment took place before last night's theater shooting, but it has made me question whether Louisiana and Charleston and Chattanooga and Columbine and Paducah and Aurora and 9/11 might have been prevented if a genuinely redeemed Christian's life had purposefully intersected with those who carried out these monstrous acts.

I'm haunted by the realization that my course has often collided head on with hopeless people, yet I've failed to stop and offer truth and love and provision.

My prayer is that God uses these terrible events to awaken those who share my conviction that we have the solution to what ails every broken life--and that we will determine to be about the business of caring enough to share the message that resurrects and restores, redeems and transforms. In memory of those who died--we must.

~The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.~ John 10:10

No comments:

Post a Comment