A Sobering Truth

I can’t remember where I was exactly when I heard the horrific news about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. At first, I didn’t believe it, because it happened in a crowded movie theatre as opposed to a high school or a college campus. The gravity of it all didn’t register until  a few nights ago, when I learned that there had been not one, but multiple people from my hometown that were either injured or lost their lives. I didn’t sleep for most of that night, and cried on and off the following day.


This is not the first time that something like this affected me in such a way. But it’s not so much that I simply feel heartbroken this time around. Rather, I feel haunted. 

I was having a conversation with a woman after church on Sunday, and we were discussing just how unbelievable it was, and still is. She said something that I have not been able to get out of my head since: that nothing is ever completely safe, at least not anymore. 

Things like this are no longer just a reminder of the fragility of life. They’re no longer a reminder just how deep and dark hatred can be. For many, a sense of innocence and normalcy has been lost.  


I have found myself asking, “why?” Not exactly why this happened, for that there may never be a definite answer. The question that screams for address is “where do we go from here?” It is an issue so much deeper than gun control and comparing them with other murderous attacks. From this point on, how do we balance our lives not being completely skittish, while also realizing that we’re not invincible?


I can’t say that I won’t not have a twinge of fear every time I go to see a movie. I’m not one that likes to sit in the back rows as it is, simply because it’s hard to walk down the stairs, especially if there is a crowd. I will probably hold my breath for a little while, and be prepared to run if need be. 


But I refuse to live in complete fear; I refuse to allow a heartless act of pure evil to keep me from experiencing joy and beauty. 


And if there’s one thing we should learn, it’s to be aware. Not to be afraid necessarily, but aware. We’re not invincible and we’re certainly not promised tomorrow. All we can do is squeeze every moment out of life and savor it in the best way we know how. Yet, I do understand that it will take time and faith to be able to do so. 


Right now, my prayer is that  there may be light in the midst of darkness. That journalists, politicians, religious figures, and the like keep their biased opinions to themselves and allow those affected to mourn and heal. And that we may become one step closer to keeping these senseless acts from ever happening again. 


Amen.
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