The past 24 hours have been bleak.
Last night, as I was in the process of unloading a van for moving back in with my parents, I heard a loud sound and horn somewhat distant from me. I ignored it because I was busy. I had already been packing and unpacking since 8am and it was, by this point after 10pm. I thought it might have been an accident but because I didn’t hear anything beyond the initial sound, I shrugged and continued on my way, eager to finish my task and go to sleep. However, sleep did not come for several more hours. Within minutes of hearing the sound, the street that goes alongside my house was filled with half a dozen cop cars, one EMT unit, an ambulance, a firetruck and various other vehicles. Right behind my house, not somewhere distant, a lone car had violently crashed into a large pole, bringing it to the ground, meanwhile the car flipped over and was laying on its roof. No doubt that car had become airborne. Seeing the car in the same it was, with the limited lighting from the stars and car lights, it wasn’t promising. What broke my heart even more was the fact that after half an hour of firemen looking at the car, cops looking in the trees and ditches around, and talking… the ambulance just simply drove away. The person died, so it seems. Just like that. I heard the sound. And the one time I decide to not check on the sound just to make sure, a life was [most likely] lost.
Today while cleaning my apartment, to which I have now turned in the keys for, I took a break and went on Facebook. To my shock, I saw the newsfeed full of grief, despair, hopelessness, and loss. Though details are still not concrete, around 27 people were shot at an elementary school in Connecticut- 20 of those victims were children between the ages of 5 and 10. The gunman shot himself. My heart is so deeply saddened. Innocent children brutally murdered. Executed. Lost. Other children left traumatized and broken. To think of the lives they will never get to live. Their families will forever have a whole with the face of Jenny, Luke, or whatever any of their names were.
What breaks my heart more than the loss of those children or the car accident victim last night is that this world is so deeply broken. The core of humanity is the very thing that can bring life or death. Its a matter of the heart. And when we reject Jesus or choose to do things our way, we open up the potential of all kinds of brokenness in our lives. Jesus is a hope that can bring healing, to which those families will all need. I hope they seek him. That they don’t blame Jesus for what happened to their son or daughter today. Jesus is the reason we can live with hope and real life. The gunman was broken too. Whatever his reasoning for his actions today, he was broken. Sin, hopelessness, and living a life without Jesus will lead us all down various roads of brokenness. But the key to everything is that we are broken without Jesus. Some people will choose to, in this case, bring guns into a school and kill children. Others will cheat on their spouse, lie, become a drunkard, rape or molest someone, honestly… the list can go on for pretty long.
I know with the shooting being fresh today in our minds, it can seem like that gunman is the worst person in the world. And to those families that lost their children, he probably will be the worst person to them. But we have to understand something: Jesus is the answer and without him, we are nothing but lost, broken people. Whatever your hurt might be tonight, whether you’re grieving over the loss of those children, or an accident like last night, or your marriage is falling apart, or life is just hard… give Jesus a chance at showing you how beautiful and incredible he is and can be in your life. He can heal your hurt, free you from addictions, restore broken relationships in your life, and so much more. He loves you… deeply he loves you. And he aches for us to respond to that love. To live a life, to the best we can, letting him heal our brokenness. He is the answer to what we need.