(Maybe, just maybe God spared my life because He loves YOU and wants you to hear this..He wants you to believe that He loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son that if you would believe in Him you would have eternal life.)
*I love this statement because it basically says that God will do anything he wants (be it good or bad) in order for you to remember that he’s your pimp, and you’re his bitch. If you are good, he’ll reward you…if you’re bad, he’ll slap a red-hot poker across your face to remind you.
“So, you still believe in a merciful God?” Some of the comments online are genuinely inquisitive, others are contemptuous in nature. Regardless of the motive behind the question, I will respond the same way.
Yes, I do indeed.
Absolutely, positively, unequivocally.
*So….instead of being thankful that you weren’t shot in a massacre, you truly believe that God spared you to write this blog post. Ok….I just wanted to make sure we’re on the same page.
Let’s get something straight: the theater shooting was an evil, horrendous act done by a man controlled by evil. God did not take a gun and pull the trigger in a crowded theater. He didn’t even suggest it. A man did.
*I call bullshit. You say that God didn’t put the gun in his hand, or pull the trigger. You say that evil did this, but you don’t give evil a name. If all goodness comes from the grace of God, wouldn’t all evil come from the womb of Satan? Let’s not split hairs here, if there is a single good force in the world, it must be countered by a single evil force. Be sure to give it a name and not sully the events of what happened.
In His sovereignty, God made man in His image with the ability to choose good and evil.
Unfortunately, sometimes man chooses evil.
*Again, you don’t name the evil. I find something very odd and hypocritical about that.
I was there in theater 9 at midnight, straining to make out the words and trying to figure out the story line as The Dark Night Rises began. I’m not a big movie-goer. The HH and I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of our own home…where I can use subtitles and get a foot rub. I don’t like action movies. And I don’t like midnight showings. But, as I wrote in my last post, parents sometimes make sacrifices for their kiddos and I decided I would take my fourteen year old and sixteen year old daughters who were chomping at the bit to see this eagerly anticipated third movie in the Batman Trilogy. Twice I had the opportunity to back out and twice I was quite tempted. But something in me said just go with your girls. I did.
*Something told you go with your gut on this one? I doubt that. Having teenagers battle your wits down and talk you in to taking them somewhere you don’t’ want to isn’t something miraculous, it’s called being a fucking parent. Don’t praise God for your lack of parenting. But you are right about Bane’s voice, seriously Nolan WTF?
So I was there with them, fidgeting in my seat, some forty or fifty feet away from the man with the gun. It’s still a bit surreal, but I do know that when the seemingly endless shooting started, as my girls were struggling from whatever gas or chemical had been released, and we figured out what was happening, we hit the floor. I threw myself on top of my fourteen year old who was on the end of the row, straight up the aisle from the shooter. In that moment, as the rapid-fire shots continued, I truly thought I was going to die. And I realized that I was ready. I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the redeemer of my soul, and there wasn’t the slightest doubt that I would be received into heaven, not because of any good thing that I have done but because of His merciful nature and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
*Sorry to interrupt this but….WHAT? Seriously? You’re describing something truly horrific and you stop to contemplate your place in heaven? Really? Continue…
Still, as I lay over my daughter, I began praying out loud. I don’t even remember what I prayed, but I don’t imagine it really matters. I’m sure it was for protection and peace. It drew me closer into the presence of God. When there was a pause in the shooting, people began to clamor for the exits. The girls and I jumped up and joined the masses. We had to step over a lifeless body, not knowing where the shooter was. We raced to our car and I dumped my purse, frantically searching for keys, looking all around, prepared to hit the ground. I yelled at Michelle to call Matthew and find out if he had made it out of the theater next door. She did. He did. We booked on out of there.
*Like you do…
Why would you think such a tragedy would make me question the goodness of God? If anything, both of my girls said it made Him a much more real presence to them; the youngest shared this verse: Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being caught.
*So you feel good that you’re alive, and you feel sad for those who died. But you also need to attribute your survival to something…so what do you do? You claim that an invisible Santa Claus-esque figure is now more real for doing what? Nothing. Had God/Jesus/Holy Spirit showed up with a machine gun and mowed down James Holmes, then I’d be more inclined to believe you.
He is not the cause of evil, but He is the one who can bring comfort and peace in the midst of evil. It’s been amazing to see the outpouring of love from so many people after this unthinkable act. Yes, there was one evil act, but it is being covered by thousands, possibly millions of acts of kindness.
We have not yet slept, so the girls and I are overtired and a bit emotional. But overall, we are praising God and resting in His Goodness. I love this word of wisdom and encouragement from a former pastor of mine:
Up to this point I haven’t had words to say that would matter. Of course we are all glad that you and the family are safe. Of course we would all state the obvious that this is horrific and senseless. But those words still don’t carry weight that remain in the midst of the questions. Then it hit me… Do you know what the difference was between Job and his wife in their response to the tragedy of losing everything… Job 1:20 Job was the only one that worshiped in the midst of it. Marie, I know your heart and I’ve seen your worship lived out before your family. Before the weight of this becomes unbearable… worship. Your profile pic was not coincidence, not by accident that you changed it on July 15th, but a beautiful foreshadowing of your need to hear the cry of your heart and give Him praise.
*People are always trying to see something out of nothing. Your pastor says to worship in time of grief, perhaps a grief counselor might be more appropriate. You can probably find a Hispanic counselor named Jesus, and just associate the two.
Though we don’t have all the answers, we do indeed listen to the cry of our hearts: When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
God is always good.
Man is not.
Don’t get the two confused.
*God is not always good either. If you look back throughout the Bible and other stories from that time period. God has been responsible for some very nasty shit. It wasn’t until he got a new image in the New Testament around 150 AD, that he became an all loving God.
We will continue to praise and worship our mighty God, anticipating that He will bring beauty from ashes, as only He can do.
If you want to know how to pray for us: first and foremost, we need sleep. Somehow our bodies seem too wired. We also want the life that God has graciously allowed us to continue to live to not be a gift given in vain, we want our lives to draw others closer to Him. We do not want fear to dominate, for God has not given us a spirit of fear. We want His joy to be seen and experienced in all that we do.
*Don’t give in to fear, but don’t believe that some magical boogeyman is your salvation either. Own what happened, and learn from it. Use it to get closer to your children for the sake of knowing your progeny, and not because you feel it’s what God wants.
Pray for the families who lost loved ones, and for young people who witnessed such horror. Pray for this to be an opportunity for God to manifest Himself in mighty ways.
As for you…we will pray that YOU might know His goodness.
Still grateful for this wonderful life,
*In conclusion, I do want to say that I am glad that you and your children survived that night. Please don’t use religion or God as an explanation of what happened (be it James Holmes actions, or your survival). You weren’t saved by some divine action, you were saved because bullets didn’t hit you. There is no mystical thing about it. Others didn’t die so that you may spread this message, they died because some gun-wielding maniac shot them. Please learn from this event, and use it to better yourself and your community. Seek out those who have mental problems and work with them to better themselves and their community. Don’t do it in the name of God, do it for you, for your children, for mankind, and for those who died.