Oct. 4, 2015

Please God let this be a nightmare...

“Please God let this be a nightmare we can wake up from..”

Janet Adams, mother of Quinn Cooper

Reading the accounts of the latest massacre on the Umpqua College campus has left me, and probably you, too, speechless, and filled with grief for all these people we didn’t even know. All these people, whose lives ended suddenly when they set off for what they thought would be another uneventful day, have now reached their eternal destination. I suspect their minds had been filled with such things as whether or not the paper they were writing would get a decent grade, even though they knew in their heart of hearts they could have done better, or if they could get up the courage to ask that girl or guy out. Another hero rose to the challenge, young father, Chris Mintz, who had served in Iraq, took seven bullets as he rushed the shooter, pleading with him to stop. He lived to celebrate his son’s birthday.

President Obama said, “This has become routine. We have become numb to this.” I saw that he has traveled over the last few years to Aurora, Colorado, Tucson, Arizona, Charleston, South Carolina and other places where a shooting such as this has happened. I don’t think we have become numb, I think we are helpless. It’s always such a shock when someone we’ve never heard of before becomes famous by murdering complete strangers that the shooter never knew. We all wonder why on earth this person had to ruin so many other people’s lives. It seems the story is always the same: a friendless loner sort of person who is filled with anger, and unhappiness at the life they have. I wrote the following the day after 9/11...the day our world changed forever...and think this fits this awful nightmare that took place in Oregon, and all the other nightmares of this kind that keep happening.

“September 11, 2001...a Tuesday. Nothing particularly special or interesting about it, except that three airplanes have been hijacked. Two of them were crashed into the World Trade Center Towers in New York and one was crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane crashed outside of Pittsburgh. It, too, was hijacked by terrorists. Todd Beamer will live on in our memories as an amazing hero. We won’t soon forget his, “Let’s Roll!” as he and others on that plane tried to save everyone on board.

I watched the World Trade Towers fall to their knees, implode, and collapse into dust and debris. I was reminded of the Temple in Jerusalem, which was going to stand forever, and just seventy years after Jesus came to save mankind from our sins, not one stone was left standing on another.

On Tuesday, 9/11, thousands of people died and were standing before God’s throne. People who had intended to live many more years, who had plans for their lives, children to raise, homes to buy, 40lK plans to augment, maybe even plans to get to know God as their Savior. But now there was a long line of people suddenly finding themselves before God Almighty, some prepared, some not.

Once again, I realized there’s no time to waste, we are but a heartbeat away from seeing God face to face. I want to be ready, my soul clean, my heart ready, my affairs in order.  My affairs aren’t based on worldly things, but whether I’ve set everything straight with those I love, that I’ve set everything straight with God.

It was a sunny, pleasant day, this Tuesday when our world changed forever, and watching the coverage in New York, it seemed to be a beautiful day there, too. How can people hate so much to want to murder thousands of people they’ve never even seen? It brings me to my knees to realize that evil is on every side. But God will overcome all this. He is stronger than all the evil, all the hate, all the terrorism. He is GOD. I will keep my eyes on Him in the midst of this shock that never goes away. I will lift my prayers to Him, asking for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, for those who will have to somehow clear up this disaster and carry on, for those who waited too long to decide.”

We can pray for those people in Roseburg whose lives have been shattered, and be grateful for those who survived, who missed class that day because they had a cold, or their car wouldn’t start.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Cor. 1:3-4