I realize you may have read twelve blog posts or articles about the tragedy in Colorado by now. I also realize it might be somewhat cheesy to address something that so many others are already doing. I won't be telling you anything you don't know. It might be pointless. But I feel compelled to write a response to what has happened, and also I can't write something funny when my heart feels this heavy. I'm angry.
I'm angry at James Holmes. Like, livid-angry.
I don't know why this tragedy above all others is hitting me so hard. It makes me want to sob and scream at the same time.
I think it might be because it happened during something so ordinary.
When I think about the fact that all these 71 people wanted to do was watch the new Batman movie like everyone else in the country and they ended up losing their lives, my heart gets caught in my throat. They went to a movie and never came back.
All because some psychotic maniac thought it was his decision whether they lived or died.
How dare you, James. Who do you think you are?
How dare you think that just because you have some nonsense to prove, or were hurt by other people, or just see reality as fiction, that you have any sort of claim on anyone else's life.
Not only did you steal 12 lives, but you ruined at least 59 more, not to mention their family and friends.
Every time they see a Batman poster or the DVD in Target, they'll remember this day. It will probably take them years to even feel remotely comfortable walking in a theater again. They will have to go to therapy, both physical and emotional. They will be frightened. They will feel anxious. You have scarred them for life. You have left an irrevocable, deep bruise on their soul that may never heal.
And your stupid photo. Every time I see it I want to punch that damn arrogant smirk right off your idiot face. You stare at us from that photo like you're proud of yourself. I look in your eyes and this indignant burning sensation wells up in my stomach. How. Dare. You.
I can't even think of a word bad enough to call you, and I don't usually say those kinds of words at all. But you deserve it. You deserve much, much more than that.
There are some things that, in terms of consequences, are unforgivable. I hope your fate matches the gravity and pure evil of the horror you have committed. I believe that God can and will forgive you if you ask for it, but I also believe that God gives the government the authority to punish this kind of heinous crime, and I hope it does.
Despite all this, I believe God is good. I believe he is the source of all comfort and walks with us through the darkest of times, because he has for me and he has for my friends. I can't imagine what this feels like to walk through, whether a family member or friend of a victim, or a victim themselves.
But this world is not our home. Take heart, for Christ has overcome death. Even the darkness is not dark to God (Ps. 139).
He is our only hope and joy in a world that presses in on all sides and crushes our souls. Thank God for his unending grace. Thank God that he is sovereign and cares about our individual hearts. Thank God that he made a way for us to be reconciled to him so we can be delivered from the wretchedness that surrounds us on this earth. But thank God also that there is still love. There is still life and happiness and friendship. There is still community, and we walk through these times hand in hand with the common bond of suffering.
Psalm 46 says,
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea…"
In a lot of ways, when we look at the world, it feels like the earth has given way and the mountains are being moved into the heart of the sea. But we will not fear, for our God is greater.