I got up this morning looking forward to hitting a neighborhood garage sale. What I wasn't expecting was the news that was all over the radio as I drove around town today - the news that 12 people were killed when a man burst into the darkened theater, throwing tear gas and spraying the unsuspecting audience with gun fire.
It was shocking and frightening.
Nobody who went the midnight viewing of the latest Batman movie expected danger to be anywhere but on the screen. Nobody went thinking it would be the last thing they ever did. Nobody waved off their son, daughter, sister or brother with the expectation that this would be the last time they would see that person alive.
But that's what happened.
Nobody knows why. At this point, officials aren't sharing the gun man's point of view, but really, is there any good reason for doing something like this? Can anyone really explain this to anyone's satisfaction?
Because of one man's actions - for whatever deluded reason - 12 people are dead. Gone. Their lives snuffed out in a moment.
On a deeper level, I wish I could explain why stuff like this happens. I wish I could explain how a loving, all-powerful God doesn't stop bad things like this from happening. In my human mind, I just don't get it.
The thing is though, even though I don't understand it and my feelings are in a turmoil, I can still know truth. In the face of confusion and horror and fear, God's truth is the one thing - the only thing really - that I can rely on.
So I can tell you what I know is still true. It's just as true today after this tragedy as it was yesterday before this happened.
God is good.
God is all-knowing, all-powerful and always present.
God loves us more than we can really understand.
God has a plan and purpose for each of our lives that fits in beautifully to His overall plan for humanity.
God is merciful, kind and patient - even when we don't deserve it.
God is forgiving - as we should be forgiving (even means forgiving a crazy man who murdered people in cold blood)
God is sovereign.
God is faithful.
God keeps His promises.
And one of His promises - even when things seem very messed up and very scary - is that He brings good out of bad.
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
My prayers are with the families who lost loved ones today.
My prayers are also with the others who were injured.
My prayers are with every person who was in that theater because not one of them will ever forget today. They'll carry the scars - physical, as well as, emotional.
But my most fervent prayer is that we will see God's goodness and His glory come out of even a horrible thing like this.
~ Blessings, Bronte