How do we respond?

I’ve been mulling this over for days now. I don’t know the right words, or the right way to say anything that I’m thinking, so what will follow may or may not make sense, but I need to sort it out. 

Ever since I turned the news on Thursday evening, I’ve been melancholy. Images of innocence taken. Images of what happens when “good people snap.” Images of evil running rampant. They still linger in my head. 

How enough evil has overtaken someone, that they will walk into a crowded movie theater, and begin spraying bullets into moviegoers, is beyond me. How evil can take up residence in someone’s heart so deeply, that they are willing to take lives, leave parents without children, children without parents, and siblings without siblings, will forever elude me. 

My gut reaction is to judge. He’s horrible. He’s a monster. How can anyone be capable of that? Thank God that I’m not capable of that. 

Except that I am. 

I’m a human being. I was made in the image of God, but because of a satan, a lie, and a betrayal, I am marred and bent towards evil. I was made in the image of God, but without him, my primal instinct will always be to lean away from him. I was made in the image of God, but left to my own devices, I will always want what is best for me, not humanity.

I’d like to believe that I’m not capable of such atrocities, but the harsh reality is, that I am. The very evil that I’ve been so aware of in the last few days, is the same evil that has the potential to take up residence in any human heart. 

Pray. Pray for families. Pray for mothers and fathers that will go to sleep tonight without their children in their beds. Pray for the daughters who will never dance with their fathers at their wedding. Pray for the sons who will never hit a home run with dad watching. 

And, get ready for it…

Pray. For. The. Shooter.

As disgusted as you are with what he’s done, pray for him. Nobody is beyond God’s grasp. Nobody is too far gone. To assume that is to make God out to be impotent and weak. Don’t do that to God. Don’t give evil the satisfaction of winning.

Because at the end of the day, there is nothing that makes me any better of a person that he is.