The image of the doctor’s bloody shoes arrested my attention. Somehow, it put the Orlando massacre into perspective. This doctor and many other medical professionals saw real blood flowing last Sunday morning. Real lives were lost; many more were forever altered. The life-blood of the victims will forever stain the lives of thousands of people–just like it has permanently stained the doctor’s shoes.
Evil prevailed over 103 lives. And many other lives were assaulted by this evil, too.
The LGBT community feels especially vulnerable since they were the main targets. Orlando residents feel less secure since it happened just miles or blocks from their homes. Non-violent Muslims face more alienation since the shooter was possibly a Muslim extremist. All Americans feel violated since it happened to fellow-Americans on our soil.
There are no human words to make the surviving victims and their families feel better. Survivors will face guilt for surviving. They will have flashbacks and nightmares. Families of the deceased will feel the emptiness and pain for years to come.
God never condones evil. His holy nature cannot be a part of it. Evil itself is the absence of God, just as darkness is the absence of light. God did not cause this tragedy.
It was caused by an evil that rejects the one true God.
BUT…God can redeem this tragedy. God can bring beauty from the ashes.
Let’s pray for God’s goodness to permeate the aftermath of this horrible crime.
Let’s pray that our country will unify against evil.
Let’s pray that our country would seek God in its sorrow.
Let’s pray that our differences would be secondary to our similarities.
Let’s pray that we would stop pointing fingers at everyone except the one who pulled the trigger.
Let’s pray that you and I would be humble before God to repent of our own sins.
Two thousand years ago, more blood was spilled…only this blood was from a perfect, sinless God-man named Jesus. He willingly gave his blood so that we could be healed, so that we could find freedom from the chains of sin, and so we could have true life in Him. Through Jesus, we can find hope in the midst of tragedy. He wants us to come through the other side whole and healed.
When we go through sorrow, Jesus cries with us…because He has been there, too. He weeps with us and then carries us beyond the suffering into a newer, richer life. Will you let Jesus carry you?
“He was despised and rejected–
A man of sorrows, acquainted with our deepest grief.
We turned out backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care.
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
It was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all”
–Isaiah 53:3-6 NLT