The clouds were low this morning as I traveled Highway 100 south to the day's appointments. By afternoon the sky grew ominous. The rains came. By mid-evening a thunderstorm was rolling directly overhead. Lightning flashed. At home the television went off.
The news being broadcast, was of a country music concert outdoors, in Las Vegas. Thousands were gathered. 'Till suddenly, from above, death rained down. Hundreds and hundreds of bullets, raked the innocent audience. Bullets of hate, many of them by rapid fire from a military machine gun, came down, seemingly, from the sky. People ran in all directions, trying to escape.
A 64-year-old man from a retirement community, was staked out on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel, was firing on people he didn't know, intending to kill as many as he could. At least 59 of them were dead; 500 or more were wounded. While people ran, many others stopped to help the wounded - to carry them out, to get them to the nearest trauma hospital.
When police entered his hotel room they discovered the shooter dead by his own hand. The man's brother, interviewed in Orlando, Florida, was stunned. "He was a wealthy man," he said, "who went on cruises, and sent cookies to his mother. He loved to gamble. He had no affiliation to movements, or religion, or governments."
The 17 or more guns in his room and the thousands of rounds of ammunition told their own story - of a man filled with enough hatred that he wanted to kill as many as he could of his fellow human beings. Somehow he imagined them to be his enemies - perhaps citizens of a society he had come to hate.
But surely, hatred itself is the form that evil has taken to overwhelm and possess that man's life, and bring destruction to as many lives around him as he could.
Strange things have happened to us as a country, and a human community. We have given up on God. We have made ourselves God, turning to our own ways, our own pleasures. We want morality loose, and easy. We distort sexuality. Our sins are writ large before in the book of Books that brings us the Words of God. His truth, His love, His way of living is abundantly clear to us. But we do not want to hear it. We don't want to be told "this is the Way, walk in it." We know the story, the life, of the Man Who said, "I am the Way, yes, and the Truth and the Life."
We need Jesus, friends. America needs Jesus. He is God's living word to us. He is the bearer of love. He is the offerer of Hope. He is our Help -- "Our God, our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come."
Jesus the Word will change society. He alone can change our hearts. Changing laws, even banning guns, will not change us. Jesus will.
Let's dare to see that, and say that, and have that.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
|Arthur Rouner Ministries||
ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES