A few years ago, my sister Bobbie and I took a trip down to Orlando, Florida. This was a trip to Disney World for two kids in adult bodies. It was planned to a tee; our visit to the “happiest place on earth” (as Disney claims such trademark!). It was a great experience for the two of us—who enjoyed being kids with a bunch of other “pretenders.”
Sunday morning the news from Orlando was horrifying and anything but happy. Again the ugliness of terrorism has reared its head and we all shiver in our frozen humanity as evil lays claim to the destruction of happiness and attempts to darken our vision. Evil is a powerful force in our world. Even though we people of faith know that ultimate evil has been destroyed by the ultimate sacrifice of love on the Cross on Golgotha Hill, the Prince of Darkness continues to defy Goodness by seducing humanity with bankrupt promises, devoid of any hope or dignity.
The brutal murder of innocent human beings fills us with sadness and disappointment with ourselves. We miss the point of making connections with others of our species in failing to remember that we are all quite fragile and complex creatures with different ideas and sets of traditions. The tragedy of deaths and numerous casualties is amplified by attempts to answer the basic question of “why?” I believe there is no simple answer to that question; nevertheless, politicians and social commentators all have their points of view and are hardly reticent in offering opinions and definitive reasons why such calamities occur.
All of us whose lives, at one time or another, have been affected by such overwhelming events must remember that evil is still present in the world. For reasons unknown to most of us—perhaps even to the perpetrators—people will still do horrible things. People of faith are once again called to offer prayers for those who have been killed or injured and for their families who must face the emptiness of death and pain. It is further necessary for us to offer prayers for one another as a support and a blessing, to remember that we still do believe in a God who loves us and does not will evil for anyone.
Ultimately, it is God who will settle our minds and hearts in the eternal embrace of His love and the unconditional security of heaven. For now, please pray for those who have been affected by actions of violence and death. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen.