My thoughts and prayers are toward Aurora, Colorado, the family and friends of the victims, the survivors, and yes, the family of the suspect apprehended by law enforcement. I can only imagine in part the grief gripping those who are trying to comprehend this atrocity.
As in the past when tragedy struck, many are asking why. My question is not so much as to why this happened. After all the mass shootings we’ve had, my question is when will we as a nation and a people come together before a tragedy shock into reality…stop us in our tracks for a day, bringing political agendas to a halt…when will we as a nation fall on our knees crying out to God to save our lives before innocent lives are snuffed out, or when will we hold prayer vigils in our neighborhoods and churches before a massacre. It’s obvious sadistic crimes and unimaginable violence have transferred from the big screen, and video games into minds of our children, youth and young adults. It’s reality with real guns and ammunition that kill innocent people—young and old. It is not the figment of one’s imagination penned in a script to be acted out on a stage. It’s being played out in real life by real people in desperation.
Life is sacred and fragile, and death is a reality. But that reality can be even more painful when it leaves us wondering what could have been done to prevent such a tragic outcome; or are we doing everything we can to save lives, or are we doing more to destroy lives and promote hopelessness among our own people.
Tragedy is not tailor-made for certain class of people. Pain is not prejudice. We are all human—we all bleed red blood; we all hurt regardless of the color of our skin, religious beliefs, gender, or sexual orientation. Death does not discriminate. And evil is ever-present lurking to lure any unsuspecting soul into the abyss. Moreover, God is always present to help us get through any tragedy when we open our hearts to receive His comforting strength, believe His Word and obey it. I choose to believe that we are still blessed and that He mourns with us, again.
Jessica Ghawi, aka Jessica Redfield is just one victim that has been identified and her story is one we should take notice of. Her life was spared last month in a mall shooting in Toronto, but today her family mourns her loss. We mourn with you. On June 5, 2012, she posted her thoughts on the Eaton Center shooting in Toronto on her blog. Her story is one that should redirect our focus, and change our perspective on what matters most. Here’s an excerpt from her blog:
I was shown how fragile life was on Saturday. I saw the terror on bystanders’ faces. I saw the victims of a senseless crime. I saw lives change. I was reminded that we don’t know when or where our time on Earth will end. When or where we will breathe our last breath. For one man, it was in the middle of a busy food court on a Saturday evening.
I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.
- Police: Shots fired at Canada mall, 1 dead (cnsnews.com)
- One dead in Toronto Eaton’s Centre shooting, eight victims in total (vancouversun.com)
- Police: 14 dead in Colorado theater shooting (kansascity.com)