Today I am happy to share this space with guest blogger, Nan Maurer.
The Oct.1, 2017 news about Las Vegas was bewildering. “Why would one man take so many lives in such a deliberate and brutal way?” Social media exploded with professional and amateur pundits playing debate games of blame and defend: It’s because of the NRA. It’s because of the mentally ill. It’s because of politicians.
Sadly, unexplained tragedies happen all over the world. In July of 2011, a gunman killed 85 at a youth camp in Norway; in March 2015, a German co-pilot flew a passenger jet into the French Alps and killed 150.
What happened in Vegas didn’t start in Vegas, and it won’t stay in Vegas. That’s bad news—and we can’t get to the good news unless we understand the three reasons why.
1) The world is shattered.
This is a worldview that shapes people’s perspective on every horrible thing that happens, regardless religion or lack thereof. When tragedy stuns the country or the world, we know that things are not the way they are supposed to be. Some blame moral failure or violent crime, others speak of global warming or disease or mental illness or any number of subjects. Something has gone terribly wrong and it started with forbidden fruit in Eden.
2) We cannot return ourselves to a pre-shattered state.
The earth is old. Mankind has been trying to solve the problem of evil for centuries. If we could have solved it on our own, we would have. The fact that we can’t, doesn’t stop us from longing for something better.
We long for the fountain of youth; Americans fight for the dream of a moral country on the Right or a diverse and tolerant America on the Left. Wars for control are fought in the Middle East and elsewhere, while refugees flee in search of safe haven. Europeans search for a new equilibrium after Brexit.
On a smaller scale, we seek contentment and health with the promise of Zoloft, GMO-free grains, wealth, Botox, fitness, higher education, and practices in mindfulness from the self-help gurus. Some of these may make things better for a season. But making things better and making things permanently good are not the same.
3) We can be redeemed.
Redemption is possible but not without the acknowledgment that there is something that was lost in the first place. Restoration requires assessing destruction. Reconciliation means wounds must first be healed. Redemption means that everything that went wrong must be bought back, but there is a price.
There is only one Person who promised redemption, paid the price for it, understands it, and guides people who seek it through the deep waters of faith. He is the good news.
In the face of every tragedy, we can remember what He said, “In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.” What that means must be lived out through the hands and feet, prayers and hopes of people who believe Him.
Nan Maurer is the communications director for Calvary Bible Fellowship Church in Sinking Spring, Pa. She is passionate about encouraging others toward spiritual growth and holistic health through her writing and teaching. She lives outside of Reading, Pa. with her husband Tom and their two teenage daughters as well as a dog named Rosie who is older than dirt. In her free time, she loves to run and eat, usually not at the same time.