The first news I received after waking up this morning was that there had been another shooting, this time at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The latest numbers have over fifty people dead and 406 wounded, making it the worst such shooting in American history. The gunman seems to have killed himself as police approached his hotel room.
It would be easy at this time to say this was an anti-something act of terrorism, but the current information about the shooter doesn't seem to support that. Stephen Paddock was sixty-four, white, and a citizen of Nevada. No evidence has been uncovered so far of any ties to an extremist group, nor is there any indication of what his particular ideologies might be. There's simply no known reason for him to open fire on a crowd of 22,000 and shoot over 450 people.
It's times like this that make it difficult to process what has happened. The scale of the tragedy and the fact it currently seems to be a random act are hard pills to swallow. We have no one at whom to point fingers; we have no real way to grasp the numbers involved.
But what we can do is pray. Right now, take time to pray for the victims and their families. Pray especially for the families of the dead. Pray for law enforcement and medical personnel (both first responders and those working the hospitals) who have to provide care and guidance in this situation. While it's too late to pray for the gunman, pray for each other that our hearts may not be hardened and begin to hate him. Pray for God's justice to be done in God's time. And pray that Christ may come before we see these headlines again.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." -- Matthew 5:4