Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grace in the Line of Fire: The Aurora Theater Shooting

Jesus-and-Holy-Spirit In the midnight hour of Friday last week, a theater in Aurora, Colorado was torn apart in a senseless act of evil. Those who weren’t there began crying out, where was God? But, as stories unfold from those who were there, that question is answered—quite clearly.

As I’ve been watching the news reports, an amazing thing is happening. You always expect to hear the personal stories, the acts of heroism, the fleshing out of the lives lost so that their deaths become even more poignant. But I’ve noticed also that anchors and reporters are coming away with a look of perplexity in their eyes. Or maybe it’s wonder. A Showbiz Tonight reporter (I’m sorry, I don’t know her name) spoke to the victims and their families. She said most of the people told her they were ready to forgive. Forgive? So soon? But that seems to be the overlying blanket, or comforter (capital C?) covering this entire tragedy.

If you are one of those wondering, where was God? please read this article, Where Was God? Miracles in Dark Places,  by Anne Blackburn. It’s a beautifully written piece on God’s Spirit and His ever-present Comforter.  Here is an excerpt:

. . . When the gunman walked into that theatre and started shooting, there was a palpable presence of evil. Oppressive evil. And then, something changed. As people began crying and screaming, they cried and screamed the name of God. The atmosphere changed. An eyewitness said a sense of peace passed over the place as people were praying, and she stopped being afraid. He didn’t run out of bullets; he just…stopped. What stopped him? The media is getting it right this time; they’re calling it evil, not insanity. . .

Several of us in Colorado were touched in some way by this event. I have sat in that theater. I know people who are connected with some of the victims. And, I personally know a mother, Kim Anderson, whose daughter was shot and has miraculously survived due to a defect in her brain. Anne speaks of this in the above mentioned article.

Kim is battling Stage 3 breast cancer while her daughter, Petra, is lying in a hospital bed. A fund has been set up to help with their overwhelming financial distress that these two things have created. If you’d like to help, please go to Ready to Believe: Anderson Relief Fund. Kim and her family spoke to Denver’s 9News. If you want to see grace in the line of fire, you don’t want to miss this!