We Americans are reeling from the unholy terror that was unleashed in Las Vegas. Our news is saturated with videos and details about the massacre. It will leave a deep scar in the memories of the families and friends who were directly affected by the attack as well as of people like me who grieve over the violence too often ruining our nation. Let’s pray for the victims: eternal peace for the dead, a speedy recovery for the injured, and comfort for those who loved them. Dare I say that we should also pray for the perpetrator, who for whatever reason committed this crime. Let’s also pray that God provides us with insight to find a solution to gun violence and heal our broken country. At times like this, it seems as though darkness is overcoming the light. When heinous acts of terror snuff out the lives of innocent people, we may struggle to hold onto our faith in the good God. We face the age-old mystery of the presence of evil in this world of ours that God created good. Some people might feel as if they are praying on empty. In our darkest moments we must remain convinced that nothing, not even the worst tragedy, separates us from God’s love. Besides, he can draw good from it. What can this heartbreaking, horrific tragedy teach us?
What first comes to mind is how precarious and fragile life is. We never know when our time on earth will end. So let’s cherish every moment and live our life to the full. Let’s also treasure our loved ones who enrich our lives and make sure they know it.
Another lesson is that we need to face the fact that much of our culture breeds hate and violence. How many movies, programs, books, and songs make violence commonplace and desensitize us to it? Research shows that exposure to violence triggers it.
The senseless killing also leads us to wonder what life is all about. Does it mean anything? Of course, in my opinion, belief in God and in another life after this one gives our lives purpose and makes it possible to hope. I imagine that God is mourning over our latest tragedy with us.
The heroes who emerged in the event—the first responders, law enforcement officers, those who sheltered their loved ones or guided others to safety at the risk of their own lives, tireless hospital personnel—remind us that people do have a shining nobility. There is goodness in our land.
We also learn that it is vitally important that we do more to promote peace and love in order to eradicate crimes like mass shootings. If only everyone realized that every person is precious, a loved child of God. If only everyone realized that they themselves are of untold worth and that God loves them with a profound, indescribable love.
Ultimately light will conquer the darkness. But God is looking to us to help. What can we do? Support organizations that work for peace. Vote for people who will promote peace. Protest situations that war against peace. Teach peace and love to our children, grandchildren, and others. Live peacefully ourselves.
What action steps can you take to bring God’s kingdom of justice and peace closer to our world?