taking a break from fashion.
…to find where the hurt and the Healer collide.
I’d like to use this as an outlet to share my feelings on the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado this past Friday, if that’s okay with y’all.
I cannot begin to imagine the overwhelming grief and sense of loss that the families, friends, and loved ones of those who lost their lives in theater 9 at Century 16 Theater are feeling right now. Nor can I grasp the feelings of terror and anger that I’m sure survivors of the attack have had and are still experiencing. I also cannot comprehend what overcame the heart of the gunman to commit such an unthinkable crime. But, if I had the opportunity to see these people face to face, I would want to tell them these things:
We live in an evil world; a world full of hatred, misguided precepts, lust, greed, jealousy, and false securities, in a country that has long forgotten the principles on which it was founded. BUT, even in the midst of that, even in the darkest places and times, God is still good. And there is nothing that can change that. Ever.
So take heart and know that there is a power greater than you or I can comprehend and He is fighting for you.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and heals those who are crushed in spirit.” <Psalm 34:17-18>
In the middle of that midnight premiere, when gunfire opened on a room full of innocent people, God was still good. Man was evil and that was his choice.
So, when you’re looking for comfort and solace and peace…look to God. He is healer to the hurt. He makes beauty from ashes. And He gives a peace that surpasses all understanding.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. <Isaiah 61:1-4>
Looking back on the things that I’ve held onto the past few months, the things that I saw as major hurt in my life, I see just how small my problems are in the grand scheme of things. But, I also see that no matter the size of my problems or yours, God is still good.
Now here’s the hard part. How do you forgive someone who has hurt you so badly, someone who has caused immeasurable amounts of pain in your life? The thing is, it’s up to you. Forgiveness isn’t something that is waiting on a list of actions to be checked off before it can happen. The only one in control of when you forgive someone is yourself. The only one keeping you from forgiving someone is yourself. And the only who is hurt by harboring anger and resentment towards someone is yourself.
When you think forgiveness is not even in the equation of getting over a wrongdoing, remember when God was good to us and allowed the unthinkable to happen to His Son, so that we may be forgiven. As believers, forgiving someone is one of the most freeing experiences. It is also a commandment. It removes the suppressing weight that resentment places on you. It allows you to do the unthinkable – to love your enemy, to do good to those who have hurt you, to bless those who curse you, and to pray for those that mistreat you. I know that this may seem incomprehensible, especially so soon after tragedy; but the sooner you are able to forgive someone, the sooner you are able to allow yourself to heal completely. And once you’ve allowed yourself to forgive, you’ll come to the realization that you can’t afford not to.
There is hope for you, because God is good and because He shows us unending, undeserving grace every single day. So hold onto that hope and know that there is a Savior who loves you unconditionally, who will cast away your fears, who will lighten your burden and load.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” <Matthew 11:28>
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” <CS Lewis>
“Let the goods and kindreds go, this mortal life also. They body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still.” <Martin Luther>
I hope that this is of some encouragement to any of you with a heavy heart for those involved in the shooting, or maybe you’re just having a difficult time letting go of a hurt. Either way, know that there is a God who loves you and who is good all of the time.