Valentine’s Day – the day of love, or in this case, hate. Seventeen dead. Twenty injured. Another school shooting goes down in history, and the hearts of Americans throughout the country are more familiar with extreme tragedy. The Parkland shooting was the second school mass shooting in only 45 days of 2018, preceded by a shooting in Benton, Kentucky on Jan. 23. As I went to sit down after a busy day, I was bombarded with Facebook posts that read “pray for Parkland,” “Parkland strong” and “our hearts go out for the victims.” As I put the pieces together and read news stories, I came to know of another school shooting, and I realized my heart wasn’t in shock.
According to CNN, 307 shootings happened in 2017 where four or more people have been killed. Of those 307 shootings, 10 mass shootings involved four or more people having been killed indiscriminately in a public place between Jan. 1 and Nov. 1 of 2017.
With all that being said, my heart hurts so badly for these victims, the families, the first responders and the people grieving.
But it does feel normal.
It’s becoming so common to see the news blow up about another mass shooting, and with each incident, my feelings become increasingly numb.
As Christians, what are we supposed to do about this evil that burdens our hearts? One thing we can be certain of is that we’re supposed to have hope. Psalm 42 speaks about this hope we are to have in God, as David’s soul is in upheaval and he weeps, “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation” (Psalm 42:5 ESV).
While I was in high school, I went through the pain of grieving friends, teammates and former classmates who were killed and terror-stricken when a shooter took nine beautiful lives at the community college down the road.
I saw students around me who wanted to stop having hope. They wanted to give up. Just like a lot of us. But we can’t.
Our hope must stay rooted and anchored in God and Him alone; we need to cling to Him in spite of these hard times, not question Him and move farther away.
The Parkland shooting hits so close to home for me, and I know all I can do is pray for God to restore the victims and their families in light of the evil that has clouded the days ahead of them—and so can you.
Whether your heart is numb, wrecked, or torn apart, pray God will restore the hurt that is infecting Parkland, and truly hope that He does.
Hope in God. Cling to Him in these hard times.
As it’s been said, “Never doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light.”