On the morning of Friday, December 14th, I dropped off my 6 year-old daughter at her kindergarten class for the day.
Just a little over an hour later, my perception of elementary schools as safe havens would irreparably violated. The tragedy at Newtown cuts deeper and lingers longer than other stories of shootings because of the age of the victims. The idea of terrorizing 6 and 7 year olds is seemingly inconceivable and unforgivable.
On Monday, Fort Lee residents and clergy gathered for a candlelight vigil in Monument Park (video). The passage I shared that night was from Habakkuk 1 and 3.
How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
~ Habakkuk 1:2-3
The prophet Habakkuk found himself amidst a society that had increasingly become rampant with violence and injustice. He called out to the Lord for salvation but felt that his cries went unanswered. Many hearts of the people in this nation today must be echoing the cry of Habakkuk.
Where are you, God? Why is there so much evil around us?
Yes. James Holmes waited until the most anticipated movie of the Summer filled up a movie theater. Then, dressed in a ballistic helmet, a ballistic vest, ballistic leggings & gas mask, he deliberately and deviously opened fire on Theater #9 at the Center 16 Movie Theater in Aurora, CO. The death toll stands at 12 and the wounded at 59 (11 in critical condition).
But, is that the face of a killer?
No. That is the face of a doctoral student in Neuroscience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (nationally ranked #5 for Primary Care). It’s the face of a University of California honors graduate in neuroscience. It’s the face of a neighbor, a friend, a colleague and a son.
Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Seung-Hui Choi, Jiverly Wong. And now, James Holmes. The faces and names have been seared in our conscience. They personify evil and they violate our peace.
As we read the eyewitness reports, we discover that people see things that they should not see. They see faces of people who have been shot, faces of people who died and the face of a killer. When you stare into the eyes of James Holmes, what do you see?