I don't want to write about this. After all, who am I to be writing about tragic mass shootings, or gun control, or good and evil? But the words keep bouncing back and forth in my head, and they must come out somehow.
I won't blame you if you stop reading right here. Haven't we all seen and heard and read too much already? My heart just keeps breaking, and I know yours does, too. It's all just too much.
But here's what I need to say:
I refuse to live in fear.
I will rejoice.
These are not options. God tells us not to fear over and over in the Bible. Same thing about being joyful. It's not a suggestion, or a reassurance. It's a command. I'm not a Bible scholar, and I don't feel like looking it up right now, but I know the Bible tells us over and over, so many times, not to fear. And to rejoice in the Lord.
And here's something else I need to say. The gun lovers are right. Taking guns away from law abiding citizens will not end the violence. Killers will kill, one way or another.
But, while I support our right to bear arms, guns are not the answer, either. Weapons don't guarantee security. Our security - our only security - is in Jesus Christ.
We, as Christians, have failed in our primary calling. We are called to be light to a dark world. Seems like all we do is complain about what non-believers are or are not doing. But, what are we doing? Are we loving our neighbor as we should? Or do we put our own comfort above everyone else? Do we love our neighbors? Even the ones who smell bad? Or do we judge and condemn them?
What do we offer the world, besides criticism and self righteousness?
I'm not blaming Christians for the evil that evil men do. Satan gets all the credit for that, as far as I'm concerned.
Jesus offers help for the helpless and hope for the hopeless. Do we really believe it? Or do we secretly believe we accumulated all of our material and emotional blessings because of our own efforts? And all those "losers" just need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Heaven help us.
Evil is in this world, and will stay here until our Lord returns. Praise God, the final victory is His, but right here and right now, evil is a fact of life.
However. Goodness and mercy overcome evil. And there is so much goodness and mercy left in the world. I see it every day. And it will remain, as long as the Holy Spirit dwells here with us and within us.
And - good news - He's already promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Hope for the future.