It’s the sort of thing that only happens to other people doesn’t it? Tragic, yes. Appallingly callous, certainly. But far away. Sometimes I call this my “only in America” file.
A massacre has occurred in my own city, a community destroyed as they worshipped. There are fists shaking at the sky all over New Zealand, a great collective WHY welling up in a country that has lost its naivety in a truly brutal fashion.
Forty-nine lives. Forty-nine deaths. Another memorial to add to the years of mourning suffered by this city as the spectre of nihilism visits its terrible logic on a people whose biggest struggles revolve around the purity of our water supply. And boy have we been woken up to the reality of things.
We do not understand our own potential. The depths of human depravity have been exposed and we are forced to examine our own souls for the same capacity to destroy and deceive. One of our local commentators said something very wise today – that healthy communities require boundaries and consequences. The internet has neither of these things and the perpetrators of today’s atrocities have been allowed to breathe in the darkness and exhale insanity on the “other” without check.
I have been very struck by the juxtaposition of two things today. For some time now, a global strike from school has been planned by the children of the world to highlight the evils of climate change. They have received much air time. Arguments about the ethics of such a strike, it’s legality in light of truancy laws, it’s potential for exploitation and its good intentions. And sure enough, a large-ish number of conscience-stricken young people marched on their towns and cities, demanding for the supremacy of their cause.
Then death came knocking. And death will not allow you to prioritise anything else. When death comes to you, the supremacy of life becomes self evident as the dross of cultural concerns are washed away. Their moment of glory has been, I think rightly, subsumed.
May our Lord and Father bring his comfort to Christchurch. Our pain is not light to him and his sympathy is real. He will not waste an ounce of our suffering. Nor is he surprised by our sin. Lord use it to bring your glory.