U.S Las Vegas Mass Shooting: Finding Purpose in the Pain
Posted on October 09, 2017
On Monday October 2nd, the country woke up to the news of a mass shooting that took place during a country music concert in Las Vegas. Like many of you, over the last few days, we have experienced a full gambit of emotions, namely confusion, sadness, anger, hopelessness, compassion, and uncertainty.
Confusion as to why anyone would want to commit such a heinous act; Sadness at the loss of lives; Anger at the prospect that in hindsight, this could have been prevented; Hopelessness because these mass shootings now seem to be a staple in our society with no current end in sight; Compassion for those directly impacted by the shooting and are experiencing a level of pain many of us will never know; And uncertainty concerning how to respond to such unbridled evil.
Unsure of what to do in our own thinking, we turned to the bible for inspiration. There, we found some scriptures that spoke to us and inspired us. We will share two of those scriptures here. We hope these scriptures encourage and inspire you.
Romans 12:21 - Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (NKJV)
The good news that the passage reveals to us is that evil can be overcome with good! Put another way, good is more powerful than evil. Therefore, rather than allow the evil that we see and hear change us, we are to change our environment by introducing good. Each day we wake up, we can choose to be a vessel for evil or a vessel for good. We can choose to ignore the evil around us or we can choose to meet evil head on with good. The bible instructs us to overcome evil with good. We believe this means we must purposefully look for opportunities to do good in this world - whether it is smile at a co-worker, acknowledging a homeless person, feeding the poor in the community, or simply speaking an encouraging word to a stranger. You never know…what you say to that stranger may just stop them from harming themselves or change their life for the better in some way.
Where people purpose in their heart to do good, evil cannot reign; where people decide to be a light, darkness cannot stay.
Matthew 14: 21 – When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed them (NKJV)
As we read through verses on compassion, it became clear to us that ‘compassion takes action’. True compassion simply does not throw its hands up in the air, it rises and does something to influence and correct the situation it encounters. In the passage of scripture above, Jesus’ compassion led him to heal the multitude. As imitators of Christ, we too should long to be a conduit of healing in the lives of those in our sphere of influence. Practically, we must get involved in institutions, projects, goals and objectives that desire to do good in this world – supporting them with our time, resources, and energy. Our hope is that we move from being undercover believers to living a lifestyle of Christianity – walking around doing good, being others minded, and applying love in the face of fear.
Societal change begins when compassion leads to godly action. What action is God calling you to take today?