On All Saints Sunday another mass shooting occurred. This time at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas where worshipers had gathered, as they had every Sunday, to offer praise to God and share in the love of Christ. 26 worshipers were murdered, almost half of which were children, including one entire family of nine. 20 were injured. The lone gunman later committed suicide as two armed community members approached the gunman’s wrecked SUV.
Why? Why did this happen? Why do these mass shootings continue to happen? Columbine. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Blacksburg. Charleston. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. I struggle with the why. I have a theological and biblical response to the why (the evil that exists in this broken and sinful world). I have societal and political opinions as to why these mass shootings continue to happen. Though these help my mind when I consider the question of why, they do little to resolve the ache in my heart.
I turn to God in prayer and lament and cry out, “Why? Why, O God?” Right now, these prayers don’t ease the ache in my heart. I think to myself these prayers, for now, aren’t meant to ease the ache in my heart. I think I am meant to feel the ache in my heart so I can experience just a fraction of the pain our God must feel. I wonder if the Lord is asking us the same question I am crying out to Him: “Why?”