It happened again today in Western Kentucky. Once again we have been shaken to our core by just how fallen this fallen world is. No matter how many times we are confronted by an up close and personal outworking of evil, we are jarred by it. I pray to God that we never get used to it.
Western Kentucky is home to me. I wasn’t born there, but I raised a family there. I spent 23 years there, longer than I ever lived anywhere in my life. I love the place and its people. My son graduated from Marshall County High, he loved his time there. The people are good, the families love deeply, I would describe the region as one of the most beautiful I have ever lived in and I have lived lots of places.
So it’s impossible to put into words why this wonderful place must suffer these atrocities. Tragically, it isn’t only shootings this community and the region has endured. They’ve experienced other tragedies that are equally breathtaking, but it seems disrespectful of the victims and their families to list them here. Those who live there know what I’m talking about.
As a Christian I feel a sense of responsibility. I feel as if I must come up with some theological explanation or words of comfort that are big enough and deep enough to offset the hurt. But at 54 I’ve finally learned that there are no such words. Not now. Not this soon after.
There is an overarching truth however, and I cling to that. No, its more than that. I base the entirety of my life upon it. Namely, that Christ is on his throne, and he will come again someday and set everything to right.
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Revelations 21:3-5
Love wins. No matter how many times these horrid things happen, that’s not just an abstraction or some pie in the sky hippie phrase or wishful thinking. It is as Schaffer called it, True truth. Love does win. In the coming days it will win in Marshall County and in the coming age it will win all.
I dare not compare anything in my experience to the pain these families are feeling tonight, but I’ve seen it. I was a small boy when I saw the face of evil, up close, personal. I experienced it again a few years later and I still have the scars to prove it. But it was only a few weeks after that, at a Christian concert that Jesus Christ rode into my life on a white horse. He drove the hurt and pain away and he’s never left me nor forsaken me since that time. Everything’s not been perfect but I’ve never been alone in the valley. Love wins. Over time and applied liberally enough, it will win in Marshall County and in time it will win the world.
Beyond that, there is no logical explanation. We needn’t look for one. Evil is illogical. It is senseless. I look forward with great anticipation to its defeat.