How do we explain and discuss things like the horror and heartbreak of the Las Vegas shooting to our children? How do we discuss them with our Christian friends? How do we discuss them with our non-believeing friends?
I know one clear way not to discuss them. We should never pretend to understand the mind of God when God has not revealed it to us. In other words, if our temptation is to say, “God allowed this to happen because ___________________________,” then we should pause, erase, and start over.
For family worship tonight, I wanted to address the sadness of the senseless killings that have left so many people in shock and in disbelief. I obviously did not want to scare my children or reveal things to them beyond their ability to grasp. But I also did not want to pretend the loss of life did not happen.
So, I opened my Bible to Romans 12:15 – “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
I explained how Christians will not have all the answers all the time, especially when difficult and scary things happen. But when other people are hurting, we are to hurt along with them. When other people are crying, we can cry along with them. When other people are broken, we can be broken with them. That’s how I want my children to respond to the tragedies of life; not by offering an explanation. Not by giving unwanted pieces of advice. But by being present, offering a broken heart to match the one across from us, and offering a shared tear.
The other thing I know for certain is this – God hurts when we hurt, and the gospel of Jesus Christ demonstrates how much love the Father has for the world. There is a time for systematic theology discussions concerning the problem of evil. And there are times not to have those discussions.
For now, it is a time to weep. To be broken. And to be prayerfully hopeful that the Lord Jesus will come soon.
Even so, Lord Jesus come.