On July 20th I was reminded how much we all need people in our lives who care for us. I was shocked when I woke up on Friday and found out that a madman had opened fire on the audience during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. I am sickened that people went out for the night to see a movie and now families have been ripped apart.
That Friday morning, after leaving for work, my dad sent me a text. He wanted to tell me he loves me and is proud of me. My dad is over sentimental, but I don’t really mind. I am glad I have a family that cares for me.
Having such a loving family makes me wonder what happened to the shooter. Why was he such a loner? I’ve heard reports from people who played soccer with him in high school or sat next to him in grad school that he never connected with anyone. That he was just odd.
We may never know why the shooter didn’t have a community around him, that loved him and supported him. He probably thought he was better off alone.
I think, especially after the movie massacre, that’s utterly wrong. We need people in our lives to help us celebrate life’s joys, to help us grieve life’s sorrows, and to help us recover after we’ve been hurt. I pray that the people directly affected by the shooting in Aurora don’t shut themselves in. I hope that my city of Denver and state of Colorado continues to reach out to these families in the months and years to come.
Our world may be broken, but if you and I set out to show our neighbors love and respect, maybe, just maybe we will see true healing.
I try to live by what Jesus says, which is hard, because I’m not perfect, but he commands me to “Love my neighbors as I love myself.” How can we do that if we live in seclusion or if we just rely on our own strength?
Over the last year I have found a group of friends who love and support one another. We meet almost every Monday night for dinner and games. It is a very fun time that often ends with us praying for one another. I’m very thankful for each person in the group, because I know I am supported, and I don’t have to live my life alone.
Do you have people in your life? I’ve been talking about living spiritually in my blog a bit this year. I’m finding the number one thing I need to do to live spiritually is to connect with God and let him connect you to a healthy community. I can’t live my life on my own. I hope you don’t either. I know it can be hard to open up to other people, but the reward is worth the risk.
God will redeem this horrible tragedy. I believe, “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” Paul, the man who wrote the above quote, had seen many atrocities, but also, as an early Christian leader, he’d seen Christ work miracles. He knew that God will take what has been broken and heal it. The scar may never fully disappear, but if we let him, it will turn into something beautiful. And that will happen when we connect with the people around us.