The recent shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords along with the murders of six innocent people and injuries to over a dozen more has our country asking the question, “Why?”

I’m not sure if we’ll ever understand what brings a person to a point in life where this is the choice they make on an otherwise average day in an otherwise average grocery store parking lot.

Pointing fingers at gun laws, political movements, school authorities, and parental upbringing may bring a temporary sense of control to a world that feels out of control but from my limited perspective this will never provide the answer we are all longing for to the question of “Why?”

Understanding the mind of this shooter will be the top priority for a group of qualified individuals for months to come.

I’m sure stories will come out about his past on a continual basis for months to come.

However, none of these stories and no amount of psychiatric research will change the fact that lives have been lost and/or changed forever by the decision he made in this particular parking lot on this particular day.

Knowing this, I have to ask myself what we can learn from this tragic event? 

And what I keep coming back to is this:

Life is uncertain.

Life is fragile.

There will always be unstable people making tragic decisions that affect the innocent.  No amount of pre-planning can make this world a perfect place.

Jesus says,

In this world you will have trouble……

His words seem very disheartening and lacking hope until you read the rest of that same verse.

But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Being home for an extended period of time has allowed me to watch the news more than I usually do.  There is a doctor on trial for murdering his wife, a young lobbyist from DC who died in a car fire this  morning leaving three young children behind her, Australia is battling horrific flooding (HOW ARE YOU, JENNIFER?  ARE YOU OKAY, SNEESBY FAMILY?  I HAVE PRAYED FOR YOU TODAY?), and the list goes on and on.

At times like these, I could easily become discouraged and anxious.  It seems that most the news that is shared on television is anything but good.

However, I am clinging to the good news in Jesus’ words..

and taking heart.

He has overcome this world!

So, for today, as I think of the many families grieving the loss of daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends, I whisper a prayer and ask God to send people into their lives who can provide the support and love they need as they step onto the long road of grief ahead of them.  And I pray that as they journey this lonely and often treacherous road they will discover peace, hope, and a purpose in their pain along the way……..

Knowing that Jesus walks the road with them in a very personal way.