A 28-year-old woman and former student entered the school, opened fire and killed six people, including three 9-year-olds, before she was fatally wounded by the police. We may never know this side of heaven why she murdered unsuspecting, innocent victims, especially children.
As the “pappy” of two grandsons, ages 8 and 10, and a 3-year-old granddaughter, this tragedy hit me hard. I can’t fathom, and I hope I will never be forced to face, the heartache and despair of the families of the children and the three adults.
I am grateful for the Nashville police who quickly arrived at the scene and took swift and decisive action. Thankfully, we will never know how many more people would have died without their rapid response.
The overwhelming show of support from the Nashville community and from around the nation for the victims’ families has been a blessing to watch. People care, and have shown their support in tangible ways.
But like any tragedy, some people have to place “blame.” The opinions as to “why” this tragedy happened run the gamut.
For me, the real culprit is what few like to admit or accept — evil exists in the world, and it is real.
According to answers.com, the word “evil” is used in the King James Version of the Bible 613 times.
God gave the first humans the opportunity to choose between good and evil in the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve made the wrong choice and evil has run rampant since.
I am still amazed at people who do not grasp the concept of good and evil. I actually heard people who expressed surprise that such an incident could occur at “a Christian school.” Wake up! Christians are not immune to tragedy or tough, difficult times.
In addition to the school shooting, many Tennesseans went through some devastating storms and tornadoes which took the lives of 15 people a week ago. Some of those folks were Christian but probably, if you go by statistics, not all of them were.
Tragedy, whether evil or not, affects everybody. No one is exempt.
One of my life verses is the words of Jesus found in John 16:33 (CSB), “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” Some translations use the word “tribulation” which I think is appropriate for any circumstance.
John 16:33 has two parts. The first one affirms the reality that we all will face tough situations in life. The second portion offers the promise of hope. Jesus is how we get through the difficulties of life.
I love the poem, “Footprints in the Sand.” It’s a poignant reminder of the truth found in John 16:33. When the person who walked with Christ looked over her life, she saw two sets of footprints in the sand when times were good, but during the difficult times, there was only one set.
She asked why the Lord “abandoned” her during “the saddest and most troublesome times of my life.” His response? “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
The presence of evil in this world will not end until Jesus returns. Sounds like there is no hope? Quite the opposite. Our hope is in Jesus and Jesus alone. We, as Christians, need to keep sharing His message of hope to a world desperately in need of Him. Jesus is the only answer and when all is said and done, Jesus does defeat evil. Just read the end of the Book. B&R