I had some topics in mind to write about this week. I jotted some notes as I do so that I could remember different ideas that came to mind. But, as I sit down here to write, it seems that I can only write about one thing tonight.
Yet, I don’t even know what to say.
This week I taught at vacation Bible school at our church. One of my favorite songs of the week was called “Remarkably Made.” I watched little Emerald sing it with conviction, my own kids standing right next to kids who come from completely different life situations, who will live a completely different type of life, each of them singing with all of their hearts, I am remarkably made. I’m unique in each in every way. From my head down to my toes, in my heart and in my soul, I know I am remarkably made.
And I was struck by the truth of what they were singing. Each little life, formed with care by the God of the universe. Each soul carved out of nothingness by a God who knows all, sees all, is all. Each planted in different wombs, women of all faiths, colors, backgrounds, and convictions. Women of all different circumstances and all different purposes and all different plans for the future. And, here they were, little children standing shoulder to shoulder, acknowledging through this catchy little song that the God of all creation made them, and He made them like no one else.
Last night while we were sleeping, fifty unique souls, fifty people who were remarkably made by the same God who made little Emerald, were mercilessly and senselessly murdered. Fifty people with mothers, with friends, with jobs and plans and dreams and fears. Fifty people who were made in the image of God. Today their families begin making plans to bury them.
And there was another there that night, also uniquely made by God. He walked in carrying death in each hand, and he cut down as many people as he could with his hate and his evil.
When he was a round-faced little boy, who could have predicted that this was where he would end up? Shooting up a room full of human beings.
Tonight he knows the truth that Jesus Christ is Lord. And, God is just and will do what is right.
At church today a dear Christian friend talked about the tragedy with tears, and we stood together, a circle of friends united in our love for Jesus, bonded by our belief in His word and our trust in His ways. We prayed for the victims and their families. We prayed for relief from the crushing horrors of this world. We prayed for the faith to follow Christ for all of our lives, and I found that once again, tumbling out of my soul in a whisper, I was pleading, Come, Lord Jesus.
But, I couldn’t get the image of those little vacation Bible schoolers out of my head. Of the potential that they have to bring glory to His name. Of the great things that He has yet to do through His people. Of the truth that even in this wicked world, He is always working, always moving, always caring and changing lives and renewing hearts. And the reality that even here, in this gruesome death scene in a Florida nightclub, God can and will bring life from the brokenness.
As for the remarkably made victims who never made it out of there last night, I mourn for them. I weep with their families. And, I pray that God will bring His peace even amid the violence. He is good. And, He isn’t finished.