I can’t imagine the level of fear that permeated the sanctuary of First Baptist Church last Sunday morning as a gunman walked in and opened fire. I can’t picture the horror as he sprayed the room with bullets and young and old alike fell to the floor. In the aftermath, people speculate on motives and try to make some sense of it all.
People of faith will draw deep on their relationship with God. Jesus may become more precious than ever before. Many who do not know Jesus may become angry and even blame God while others, finding no answers, may actually turn to the Lord – asking themselves, “What if that had been me?”
What about the rest of us who live miles and miles away, who are not directly impacted by this horrible act of violence – what should be our response? Obviously, we have a responsibility to pray for the church, for the community, for those who lost loved ones, and for those still recovering. We pray for God’s comfort and for His healing.
Should it cause us to reflect on what is really important? I would not be surprised, that like most churches everything was not perfect prior to the shooting. Most likely there were disagreements from time to time and perhaps even some bruised relationships. Sunday afternoon, none of that mattered. Perhaps it will help us determine what is really important. Perhaps our kind of music isn’t as important as we thought; or the volume doesn’t matter as much. Perhaps the temperature of the room is OK after all; and it really doesn’t matter the color of the carpet. Maybe I need to make more effort to restore the relationship between me and another brother/sister instead of waiting for them to make the first move.
When you are totally defenseless, kneeling behind a pew or chair to avoid being shot all that really matters is knowing Jesus and praying for those who don’t. When the smoke of the guns blends into the atmosphere, it is still most important that we know Him and make Him known.