This is a little departure from what I normally write, but after reading A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting and the ensuing comments, I felt this in my spirit.
There are events in our world that make me stop and take pause. One of them was the recent shootings at Aurora, CO when one gunman randomly shot and killed 12 people while wounding dozens more.
After the sheer shock and brokenness for those who died and for the families they left behind, some people stop and ask the question, “Where was God?” Somehow, not for me. At least, not anymore. I now pause to ask the question: How wicked is man?
I suppose that my lack of questioning the presence of God (though, I think the real question is about the intervention of God) in tragedies like Aurora comes from my acceptance that bad things happen and people can be evil. I no longer ask the question, “Where was God?” because I know He was there. His “lack” of intervention, as some may suggest, is also not in question for me. I believe God is constantly intervening. It’s just people are relentlessly working against the intervention of God. Take for instance the young man that is to blame for these atrocities. God was pursuing this man to not do this rampage – which he did for no apparent reason. I believe it. How can I say that? After shooting rounds from his ammo, he quietly resigned to his car and, without resistance, surrendered himself to the cops. Not only did he surrendered, he warned them of his apartment. Why? this madman could have pursued all those innocent people that were fleeing for their life right into the crowded halls of that movie theater. He could have killed dozens more that night. But he retreated back into his own obscurity and gave up. Something got a hold of him. Reality? Maybe. Conscience? Maybe. Sanity? Maybe still. One thing for sure, something else other than the force of a bullet hitting his chest or a heroic tackle from behind caused him to stop. O, God was intervening, the young man just worked against it until he couldn’t anymore.
How about the people who brought their young children to the theater at a midnight showing? I don’t want to judge them, but the fact that an R rated movie being shown at midnight did not cause parents to stay and keep their children home makes me think that these parents were working against the intervention of God. And how about the fact that a highly violent movie that glorifies death, murder and mayhem – ultimately rousing in the perpetrator with the same values as the movie to act out its violence – made its way to a big screen theater tells me that we – all of us – are working against the intervention of God.
The pause is to also ask the question: How wicked can man get? Cain killed his brother. The 10 sons of Israel sold their brother to be a slave and then lied to their father that he was killed. A prince rapes his half-sister because he “loved” her, then despise-fully throws her out once he is satisfied. A man rallies a nation to hatred ultimately killing 6 million people. How wicked can we get?
As long as people continue resisting the intervention of God, we will all suffer. Some resist Him by beating their wives. Some resist Him by cheating on their husbands. Some resist Him through addictions. Some resist Him through unforgiveness and anger. Others resist Him through hurting others while others, still, resist Him by hurting themselves. God is intervening. Through conscience, maybe; through reality, maybe; through sanity and common sense, may be still. But God is intervening. He is speaking. His Word clarifies His intervention. How long will we not listen?