Although there are such encouraging stories coming out, there is also a disheartening element that is coming out in response to this tragedy. I went onto a public forum in the commentary section of one of the articles about the tragedy. And I was a bit surprised at so many of the arrogant attitudes displayed. So many people are quick to place blame in the wrong places, in the knee-jerk judgmental attitude that they have become accustomed to and have lived by, which is so common in our society today. Many times this blame placing fits into their erroneous pet philosophy about how the world runs. Moreover, so many others, in their pride are just as quick to pull the trigger with their opinions, shooting from the hip, interjecting their prideful and often harsh opinions or solutions of their perfect view of the world into this already bad situation, making it worse. What I see too little of is humility. I would expect more humility as we realize that it could have been us in that tragedy, but it wasn’t by the grace of God. I would expect humility in thinking about the poor, demented soul that brought about this tragedy, wondering about what produced such a person, and reflecting on whether we live our lives in a way that would prevent one of our own or one of those around us from doing such a thing.
There is an intricate web of causation that affects every person in this world, and so many people have an influence on each and every one of us, just as we have an influence, however great or small, on so many others. Surely we should wonder about the people in this man’s life and whether they did all they could to help him or to set him on the right path. But it is too easy in this fallen world, especially in these last days as wickedness is so widespread, to fall back into our own selfish lives and to not care about those around us, perhaps inviting another such tragedy by some poor soul around us. When seeing such tragedies, our first thought should be for the suffering of those poor people. Our second thought should be, “There but for the grace of God go I,” as we realize that the only thing that separates us from tragedy is God’s protective hand in our lives. The Bible is very clear about this: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” (Lam. 3:22). We should be in prayer constantly to thank God for all the good things around us and for a relatively safe and peaceful existence that is not beset by constant tragedy, which is the normal default in a sinful world.
But judging from the responses to this tragedy, it would seem that too many of our countrymen have forgotten God and have no fear of Him. They have no fear of His wrath in response to their sins, or they are pridefully unaware of their own responsibilities for this tragedy and the other tragedies that seem to be unfolding every day. It seems more and more these days that so many people think they’ve got it all figured out. They are quick to try placing the blame, using the tragedy for their own selfish purposes, but there is too little appropriate self-introspection which looks in the mirror and asks, “Have I done my best by all those that I have encountered today? Or do I live my life in such a way as to contribute to these tragedies in some miniscule fashion? Am I doing all I can and giving my best effort to those around me so that I have no guilt or blame when such tragedies occur?” If we come to the end of ourselves and humbly admit that we don’t have all the answers and that we have not done all that we can to avert disaster, perhaps God can begin to work in us to ameliorate the evil world around us. In our fallen world, people have the tendency to think that revival begins with someone else. But it always begins first with us. I pray that each of us will have the courage to look at ourselves in naked honesty and to be just as brutally honest with God about who we really are. When we go to God with this attitude, that’s when the miracles can start happening in our lives, and maybe making us into a walking miracle that will bless all those around us, perhaps even stopping such tragedies from ever occurring around us. May God bless you all with His irrepressible, unquenchable, and boundless love.