On Thursday, June 5, shortly after 3:30 in the afternoon, inside a building on the campus of Seattle Pacific University, a student named Jon Meis pepper-sprayed a stranger and tackled him to the floor. An unknown gunman had opened fire in the building, and in a moment of complete chaos, as the gunman reloaded a shotgun that had already killed one person and wounded two others, Jon Meis stepped up to stop him. Without doubt, as many witnesses and authorities close to the scene have said, Meis's heroic act saved several lives.
I was watching the story unfold, asking myself the same question that many of us have probably asked at some point throughout the wake of tragedies like this. Could I have stopped the shooter? If I found myself in a similar situation -- and now we start imagining the scenario -- if someone walked through that door armed to hurt people, which direction would I go? Would I be willing to risk my own life in an attempt to impede the attacker?
Time to Reflect
Questions like these soon give a humble invitation for honest self-reflection. Asking whether we would do this or that is essentially asking ourselves what kind of person we are. We might envision possible scenarios and entertain ideal responses, but we really want to know whether we're capable of courage. We want to know if we have that kind of sacrifice in us, if we could be a hero, too. Courage and sacrifice, after all, are what really drive a person to do that kind of thing.
[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]