Last Friday in Colorado, 12 people were shot dead and 58 injured at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. The sound of live ammunition and screams resounded as James Holmes walked into the cinema and shot people at random. Among those who died was a 6?year?old girl. Those horrific images must now haunt the minds of the survivors, and those who lost loved ones. When we're confronted with evil like this, it's natural to ask why God doesn't intervene.
Sometimes it helps to go back to the most basic things we know about God. 'See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil... I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” Deuteronomy 30:15,19 We know that when God created us, we were given the freedom to choose good or evil. We also know that God does not impose and never forces us to do the right thing. Knowing God's word and promises undoubtedly helps to shed light on traumatic situations, but an actual real life testimony can help us further.
Marie Isom, a Christian woman living in Colorado, was at the premiere with her two daughters, and recounted her experience hours afterwards. In her blog post, 'So you still think God is a merciful God?!' Marie attributes the evil act to man, and not God. Remarkably, rather than losing her trust in God, her experience strengthened her faith.
She says God's presence was with her as she protected her two girls from gunfire. 'In that moment, as the rapid?fire shots continued, I truly thought I was going to die,' she writes 'and I realized that I was ready. I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the redeemer of my soul, and there wasn't the slightest doubt that I would be received into heaven, not because of any good thing that I have done but because of His merciful nature and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.'
Marie's attitude makes faith tangible. She showed no despair, fear or anger. She says her family is still suffering from shock and sleep deprivation, but Marie has chosen not to focus on the negative. Without belittling what happened, she leaves room for hope. She points out that God can always 'bring something good out of it'.
It's hard to imagine the difficulties that families will now face as they try to pick up the pieces, and as they start the process of healing, but I hope the message of God's love for them reaches their hearts. In Marie's words, with the words of God, 'Though we don't have all the answers, we do indeed listen to the cry of our hearts: 'Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?' Psalm 56:3?4
In Marie's testimony we see a glimmer of light and a reminder that God promises us eternal life. Marie had confidence in God's love even as she and her daughters faced death. Thank you Marie for shedding God's light on such a dark event. Let's all pray for all the families that have been affected by this tragic event, that God's peace and love be with them.
You can read Marie's testimony here.