As images scroll without ceasing from media coverage on the Aurora shooting, I’m sure most people are ready for a break in the information on the tragedy.
The wake of this event spreads far and wide. From the injured, those who lost their lives, to the family and friends of those involved, the first responders and their families, the Aurora community, the American public watching on…The circle is ever-widening. One treacherous moment can steal peace right out from under us if we let it.
In the midst of it all, thoughts like,“Lord, where is grace in this? How will their loved ones feel about you now?How would I react to the sudden loss of a loved one? You wouldn’t let that happen would you?” invaded my mind. I realize those aren’t exactly full of faith or hope, but they were my honest, initial reactions.
And He showed me love by hearing me, sympathizing with my limitations and showing me mercy in my failings. Even as my heart filled with fear and anxiety, the Lord is loving and never left me to my faithless thoughts.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
:: 1 John 4:18 ::
They say that these are evil times. I disagree.
People are evil, but time…Time is a gift.
Today wasn’t automatically called out from yesterday.
Each day – every minute – comes from
Each of my days are gifts straight from the grace of God. He is love, even now.
His love for me helps me to seek Him and find Him where others doubt He can be found.
His love is manifest in giving me a mother who speaks grace into my fear and anxiety (when my God-given gift of compassion becomes a sin – becomes about ME fixing the hurts of others by taking them in).
She says, “I want you to hear me. There will be days that pierce you – days that hurt and maybe even ones that hurt for a while. You go on and keep feeling the deep need for Christ in others’ lives, but you have to look to Him. And when you cry, never deny His goodness. When you cry saying, ‘They didn’t deserve this!’ remember the cross. That sacrifice, we didn’t deserve that either. There is always grace, Mandy. Just ask Him to open your eyes to see it.”
She’s right (more often than not).
The only real perspective to see anything by is grace.
Turning toward His grace and holding onto faith, the bullets (the flaming darts of this world :: Eph 6:16) cannot touch us.
And His grace alone will turn us around and carry us out – beyond all the ugliness of this world. Promise.
We just have to turn away from that fear and anxiety and lean hard into His unceasing, even-in-our-“why”-moments, unconditional love.
And when we do this – when we lean into His love, hold to faith and remember grace – we know that this life isn’t about the moment it is taken from us. It’s about the moments we are given, the time He has gifted us with.
After dodging death the first time at a mall in Toronto just weeks earlier, Jessica Ghawi was killed in the Aurora shooting.
She processed her day at the mall in a blog post dated June 5th. She writes…
“Every moment we have to live our life is a blessing.
So often I have found myself taking it for granted.
Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends.
Even the times of solitude are all blessings.
Every second of every day is a gift… I can’t help but be thankful…“