Like most of America this morning, I woke up to the horrifying news of the movie theatre massacre in Aurora, Colorado. I’m in shock as I watch the reports on television. I have so many friends who love going to these midnight showings of the sci-fi and comic book movies. My heart grieves for those suffering from this tragedy.
I’m trying to post a new blog everyday to get back into the practice of writing. It starts with theme ideas that I jot down before I go to bed. Then, early the next morning, I jump onto my computer and begin writing.
Last night, with the excitement of the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises swirling in my head, I prepared for a blog entitled “Of Course, Superheroes Aren’t Real.” Sadly, super-villains are.
Once again, evil has raised its dark heart in our world. When something like this happens, many people look to the heavens and ask “Why?”
There is no answer to the question. Evil just happens, indiscriminately, any time, anywhere. Ours is an open society. We like to feel that we can safely enjoy ourselves at movie theatres, concerts, sporting events — any public gathering. Today we can only shake our heads and perhaps shudder from the cold chill of this darkness.
Comic books are today’s mythology. Our Dark Knight and Man of Steel are the Hermes and Hercules of the Greco-Roman pantheon. As mythology, we are enthralled by the fantastic stories that revolve around these amazing characters who teach us metaphorically about the hero’s journey.
By its very nature, comic book violence is cartoonish. Unfortunately, when it becomes real as it did in that Colorado theatre, there is no superhero to come to the rescue.
The media is already looking for connections and answers, and I will leave that to the news commentators. In fact, I’m going to turn off my TV right now. I’m not sure if I can take much more of this non-stop event coverage.
Instead, I turn to God in prayer. Yes, despite the apparent omnipresence of evil, I still believe in God. Why does God permit such horrifying evil to happen? It’s not a question of whether God “permits” evil, or whether God is powerless against it, or if there is even a God at all. Evil in our world is related to our freedom of the will, which is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity. Unfortunately, by granting us this gift, God takes the risk that some people will abuse it and choose evil. Let us remember that evil also touched Jesus. God’s Son was falsely accused and put to death for no apparent reason.
I wrote about this a few years ago on a Spirit & Song blog that I am going to link here: The Problem of Evil
There is no easy answer to all of this. I’m not even trying to offer one. But I do know that this is a time to come together in support and prayer for the victims and their families. As the President just said in a televised address, “Our time here is limited and precious. We will never know fully what causes somebody to take the life of another. We do know what makes life worth living.”
Amen. Won’t you please join me in prayer?
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven . . .
May God’s kingdom someday be fully realized.