I've been feeling like I need to write something about the really unsettling event in Colorado. Such a tragedy, and the loss of life never is a good thing. My heart hurts in many ways because of this event, first for the victims, their families...but also for the shooter and his family too. Now, I know that saying that I hurt for the shooter sounds crazy, but give me a second to say why.
The taking of life is an awful thing, and I would have a hard time forgiving someone who took the life of someone I love, but that is what we're called to do. Jesus asked his Father to forgive the people that were murdering him while he was on the cross, so why should we behave any differently? People at work called him a "sick bastard" and other things, but when we look at things from God's perspective, we're no better. No sin is different from any other (outside of denouncing God, but that's a different debate). God sees me, you, and this man in the exact same way, a sinner who has no hope outside of Christ. Talk about a perspective change, and that hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard that said on the radio. I was a little taken aback, but I couldn't deny that fact. My heart hurts for this guy, he obviously has some serious issues, and nobody sensed it and reached out to him to help. He needs Jesus just as badly as I do, and I will be praying for him. I also feel bad for his family too. This has to hurt them and upset them in ways I hope to never have to go through. I pray they have the grace to forgive him, and I also pray for their safety. Retaliation against them doesn't do anything but make matters worse.
For the victims and their families, I hope they can find forgiveness for him somewhere. As an outsider, I know that saying this is a lot easier than doing it, but it's what we're called to do. If we love Jesus, we forgive those who have hurt us. In society, we've made it such a big deal that we don't forgive murderers, rapists, etc. because they're horrible people. We all have sinned, and we're no better than anyone else. He needs Jesus, and forgiving him is just a picture of what Jesus can do for him. I hope and pray that this is what everyone, not just the victims and their families, can do. It seems so backwards, and it seems so wrong, but that's our calling. I will close with a line from the song "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North for you to think on, and really sums up what I hope everyone can ask of God in this awful time...
Oh Father won't you forgive them
They don't know what they've been doing
Oh Father give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losing