This past Sunday night in Las Vegas, NV, a terrible thing happened. A psychopath fired on 22,000 outdoor concertgoers from 32 stories up. In 72 minutes, his heinous actions ended 59 lives and injured close to 500 others. It is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Before the dust settled, before any facts were known, some were exploiting the tragedy: We have a gun problem, so we need more gun control. If we had more rules, those who break rules would obey the rules. We can legislate a solution so that it never happens again.
Except we can’t.
Because the problem is not a weapon problem. If guns kill people, then pens misspell words, cars make you wreck, and forks make you fat. Despite heavy regulation, an evil man, intent on doing evil, still found a way on Sunday. Since sin entered the world, evil has always found a way.
No, the real problem is deeper. The heart of the matter is a matter of the heart. Jesus said “…It is out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder…”
The heart is the key. For example, one week prior to the Las Vegas massacre, a hero, Robert Caleb Engle, stopped a church shooting in Antioch, Tennessee, with a gun. His weapon saved lives. Two men, both with weapons, yet two very different ends.
So, what can we do? Here are three suggestions:
- Pray Continually. Many Godless people mock the outpouring of prayers. They say prayers are not enough. The opposite is true. They are the best thing we can do. “Devote yourselves to prayer…”
- Focus on the Good. Even as bullets flew in the darkness, light was shining. Strangers laid down their lives for each other; first responders rescued; people used their vehicles to evacuate victims; neighbors lined up for blocks to give blood. Those stories need to be remembered and shared.
- Be the Light. We get to choose if we want to let Jesus shine in our lives or not. May you choose to “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” The world will always be a dark place. The answer is more of His light.
Someday “he will wipe every tear from their eyes.”
Someday “there will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain…”
I, like you, look forward to that day. Until then, “do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”