Evil and wicked people walk among us. When they act out, many of us are shocked and ask ‘why,’ because the vast majority of Americans believe most of us are good and decent people. We’ve largely removed God from our culture because we don’t need Him anymore. We are well to do, and government meets the needs of the poor. Things happen. Life goes on.
Sunday, November 5, an evil and wicked man murdered 26 people who were worshipping in Sutherland Springs, Texas, First Baptist Church. The small town has about 600 residents. Media swarmed the small community overwhelming family and friends who were so badly shaken by this atrocity. More than likely the vast majority of residents were seeking consolation from God. They needed something bigger than the government, someone who transcends mundane daily living.
This was the largest mass murder inside a place of worship in America … if one discounts the deaths of 76 burned to death just outside Waco, Texas, in April 1993. But, that’s another story.
One week after the atrocity in Sutherland Springs, Sunday morning “news” programs led with a he-said-she-said sexual harassment scandal that allegedly occurred nearly 40 years ago. The timing of these allegations is politically significant, and thus ‘trumps’ all but the few seconds media elites spared to mention those hurting in Sutherland Springs.
In the meantime and at the same time many attended a memorial service for the 26 who died, and prayed for those still recovering from their physical and emotional wounds. Prayers and thoughts were welcomed there.
Family and friends of those killed in Sutherland Springs will always bear heartache over their losses. God will comfort those who seek His comfort, but the heartache will always be there like the hole left by a pulled nail. Living has consequences.
The rest of us should pause to pray for all of those friends and families so intimately affected. We’re all alike. We hurt when we lose friends and family members, especially when those losses come unexpectedly and too soon. None of us know when we will suffer unexpected losses.
The preacher in Ecclesiastes says God has put eternity into our hearts, and the apostle Paul writes to believers in Rome that God has made Himself evident to everyone, and those who refuse to acknowledge God are without excuse. Still, unbelievers among us mock those who mourn and pray with those who mourn and pray.
We are approaching the busiest time of the year with the coming holidays. So much to do, so little time! We’ll pause later when it’s more convenient. Or, we’ll just forget about evil and wicked people who walk among us until the next time one or more of them act out. Maybe it won’t happen to us.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare wrote, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” I suppose that’s how many look at life.
Every now and then it behooves us to pause and consider others who are hurting for whatever reasons, and offer prayers and thoughts of comfort for them. Evil and wicked people walk among us, but God consoles any who seek Him.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com, or interact with him on the Clarion-Ledger web site http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/