Day dawns on the dark knight
Last night’s shooting at the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” at one Denver-area movie theater has already generated an avalanche of media interest. Just who is the 24-year-old shooter who killed and wounded dozens? What made him do it? Stunned readers everywhere all seem to be yearning for something—anything—that can bring some sense or meaning to this senseless tragedy.
I don’t pretend to know how to make meaning out of a tragedy, or even what the right words are at a time like this. But I do know one thing: At times of great mourning, I find it helpful to remember that I don’t have all the information.
That’s right. We don’t yet have all the details. We don’t know what heroism went on in that movie theater. We don’t know how strangers helped each other, protected each other, or what lives may have been touched by another’s courage and selflessness.
Those are the details that begin to pierce the gloom of darkness that may seem, at first, to be impenetrable. Pinpricks of light that steer us away from the endless blackness and into more productive, constructive lines of thinking.
But where do we go from there?
In my life, I’ve seen that the information that doesn’t just lighten the darkness, but that actually allows day to dawn in our world-weary hearts, is the information we gather as we turn away from the tragedy altogether and seek an alternate view. This doesn’t mean ignoring what happened; but it does mean asking God, the loving Father and Mother of us all, to “send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me.” 1
So what do we see when we turn to God for our information? The answers will be as individual as the pray-er. But I do know that the constant will be love. God, divine Love, doesn’t leave us in the muck and mire of tragedy. Love comforts us, heals us, show us how to love more—to love enough to actually bring an end to these kinds of horrific events.
Love challenges us, too. It challenges us not just to turn away from the aftermath of tragedies like this one, but also to see and declare Love’s presence right where the tragedy itself took place. This kind of spiritual vision requires humility—a willingness to trust Love’s view of a situation more than the evidence in front of us. But God designed us with spiritual senses—with the ability and authority to look beyond the clamor of material circumstances to see the constant presence and power of Love.
This kind of spiritual clear-sightedness brings results. In the Bible, when the army of the King of Syria was after Elisha and his servant, circumstances seemed to indicate that all was lost. Elisha and his servant were trapped—surrounded by the enemy.
Elisha, however, didn’t pray to change a bad situation into a good one. Instead, his prayer for his terrified servant went like this: “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.” The Bible continues: “And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” 2
Are we willing to look for those chariots of fire, lighting up our darkness, assuring us that not a single one of God’s children could ever be outside of His care? Are we willing to see ourselves, and our brothers and sisters, surrounded by the protecting circle of God’s ever-present love?
This is the information—the spiritual fact of God’s allness—that enables us to be the kind of healers that Aurora, Colorado, and the whole world, needs. Dark night lifts. Day dawns. And with it the promise that we have a God in whose “light shall we see light.” 3RSS feed
Topics: Safety | Tags: Aurora, Batman, Colorado, movie theater, shooting