Unless you lived under a rock the past 48 hours, your news world has been saturated with tragedy coming out of Charleston, South Carolina. Now that the initial shock and horror is beginning to wear off, how can we begin to make sense of this senseless act of violence? Here are four things to remember:
- No explanation can ever be sufficient when the loss is personal. Acts of violence that you see on a news report are just unfortunate statistics. But the loss becomes so overwhelming when there’s a personal connection that no simple explanation, not even a Bible verse, can adequately quantify the senselessness of violence like this.
- The effects of sin and evil in the world are devastatingly real. Sin is like a bomb that went off in the world, leaving a trail of collateral damage in its wake. Sin is so deceiving and so destructive that it can even twist a human heart into thinking that killing innocent people is the answer, when it never, never is. Once again, we know this from a theoretical standpoint, but it becomes all too real when it affects us in a way that we can’t control. The church being targeted wasn’t some form of divine punishment. It’s just the consequences of a sin-infested world. Like a tornado ripping through a community, it will destroy one house while leaving the next house intact.
- Evil is big, but God is bigger. Deep down we know we can’t fully understand this act of violence this side of heaven. I don’t think we need answers as much as we need to know that God is here. God is with us. Evil is big, but God is bigger.
- Put your hope in heaven. The victims in this attack are in a better place. You can grieve for those left behind, but don’t grieve for those who’ve died. They’re with Jesus, with no more pain, sickness, sorrow or death. That hope carried them through life and death. That hope is available to all.