Tragedy struck in the state of Oregon. A gunman killed at least ten people at a community college. Reports say the gunman intentionally targeted Christians, lining victims up, asking their religion, and shooting them in the head if they said "Christian." Our hearts break at such evil, and our prayers rise for the families connected to this tragedy. Their pain is too real and too raw for us to quickly offer words of meaningful comfort. We do not want to trivialize their pain by trying to reason away their deaths, as if their families aren't forever changed.
Yet for those like me — those disconnected enough to observe only through articles and news coverage — I do want to ponder this tragedy. I don't want this tragedy to be lost on me.
As terrible as it is to note, school shootings now seem so common we rarely stop and move beyond a surface reaction. "We've become numb to this," said President Obama as he addressed the shooting. My desire is to stop, ask, open our eyes to hope, and see a bigger picture of God in the midst of such madness.
Righteous Reaction to Tragedy
I can't think of many in the Bible who experienced more pain than Job. Truly, Job's pain was the result of a kind of persecution: direct Satanic attack. Job understood being singled out as one who was faithful to the one true God.