This is a guest post by Ryne P. Smith. Ryne lives in Chicago and is currently working on his undergrad in biology. He previous wrote for this site here.
Not a lot has been said about the 58 people who were injured.
Petra Anderson was one of those people:
Three shotgun pellets hit Anderson’s arm and another went through her nose — riding up the back of her cranium and hitting the back of her skull.
The fact that Petra is alive today is amazing to say the least. Even the doctors were taken aback.
Now her family and pastor are calling her survival a “miracle.” Here’s her pastor talking about what he experienced at the hospital:
As Petra sleeps, [the surgeon] retells the story of the surgery, and we ask questions. The doctor reads the perfect script, as if he is on Hallmark Hall of Fame. He fills us in on the miracle. Honestly, he doesn’t call it that, he just uses words like “happily” and “wonderfully” and “in a very fortunate way” and “luckily” and “we were really surprised by that.” [Petra's mother] Kim and I know a miracle when we see it.
The real reason for Petra’s survival is the prompt medical care that she received. The pastor even mentions this:
Petra is finally taken into surgery, using two different surgical teams. One team of neurosurgeons will open up the back of her skull to remove the bullet and clean up brain damage as best they can. Another ENT-specialty surgical team will then work through Petra’s nose by scope to follow the bullet’s path up into her brain. Their hope is to remove bone fragments, clean up damaged brain tissue, and reseal her brain to reduce infection.
But does he even once think to thank the doctors whose years of expertise saved a life? No. All credit goes to God:
In Christianity we call it prevenient grace: God working ahead of time for a particular event in the future. It’s just like the God I follow to plan the route of a bullet through a brain long before Batman ever rises. Twenty-two years before.
I would ask this pastor where god was for the 12 who died.
Where was God for Jessica Ghawi who was present at a mall shooting in Toronto last month, but survived. She was killed Friday in the Aurora shooting. When she discussed it, she sounded like a Christian as well.
It is extremely disrespectful to the families of those who died to say that God gave someone who survived preferential treatment. What did God do for the ones who are no longer alive? Give them the middle finger?
The reality is that a tragedy occurred at the hands of a deranged gunman. Those who could be helped received the benefit of those men and women who have dedicated their lives to saving others’ lives.
God had nothing to do with it.