I’m standing in church this morning during worship. Surrounded by hundreds of people worshipping God fearlessly and beautifully. And what is the thought that comes rushing into my head, right past the bethel music lyrics on my tongue?
What if someone came into the church right now and started shooting? What if that story became our story?
I begin to imagine how I would survive something like that, how I would survive, how I would live normally after experiencing something so traumatic.
I think about eternity and how there is no bad ending to a victim’s life who knows Jesus because death is not merely an ending but a beginning. The real pain is for the ones they leave behind.
The shooter may think they have taken away what matters most, but they have only brought pain to earth, not heaven.
If death only brings us to Jesus, then why does it still hurt so much?
Tonight, I’m watching parenthood, literally weeping as Christina is fighting for her life, telling her children goodbye just in case she doesn’t make it. If death is part of life why is it still so awful?
I think of my grandmother, who I lost in December, whom I barely knew. If I barely knew her, why is it still such a gaping hole?
I guess what I’m asking is why we care so much as human beings. Why did God give us the capacity to care so much, if so much was at stake. I am reminded of his love for us, which not only hurt him, but wounded, scarred and killed him. If we feel anything it is because he felt it first. If we love it’s because he first loved us.
So as I sit here on the couch tonight, thinking about this fierce love I have for my family and my friends, I’m thanking God he put this fragile, beating heart in my chest and allowed to bleed, to love, to laugh and to lose. Anything I experience is only a glimmer of the tears he has wept over me, over you. We are so much more loved than we could possibly imagine.