I've been wanting to write about the Colorado shootings since a couple days after it happened. But because my view on it might be controversial or different than most, I haven't been brave enough yet to share. I'm so thankful for a space like Beautifully Rooted, where I am able to share what's on my heart, without being judged. So the more it "sat" with me, the more I knew I had to take a chance and share. After all, a writer must be willing to "bleed", and I have to ask myself, am I willing to bleed? Especially for the Lord?
I share my perspective knowing full well that there are many a perspectives out there, and I can respect and appreciate others views because all our opinions stem from somewhere.The reason I can learn to respect each view is because I understand that we all come from different backgrounds, and different experiences. Which leads to a vast amount of unique perspectives. And as Christians, we can continue to look forward to growth, as we hear and witness other perspectives throughout our body, and take on new ways of thinking. That is the kind of work God is into; change and transformation. He is out on a mission for us to reach new heights!
The God that I love and the God that loves me is huge. He is a God that loves with no limits, no conditions, and with fierceness. He is a God that loves everyone regardless of their pasts. He is a God that loves everyone and anyone right where they are at. His love is bigger for me and you than your parents love for you. Or than your love for your children.
I can't deny that within hours of the shootings when I heard people calling this guy an 'Idiot' or express their hatred for him that it didn't bother me. Especially when I heard it from believers. It actually saddened me. Now, let me first say that I have never lost anyone through murder, and I am not an expert on mental health, and I am certainly not speaking from a professional stand-point. I couldn't say that if this was something that had happened in my life, that I would be able to write the same thing, but I would hope I would.
This man (this murderer), is still a human being loved by God. I, myself, am called to 'love my enemy' and that is not an easy thing to do, especially in the face of murder. But here are the verses in the bible that help me not to have hate in my heart, and to love everyone, yes even the murderer.
"I'm telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best--the sun to warm and the rain to nourish--to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a medal? Anyone can do that. It's easy to love those who love you, it's easy to love the lovable." Matthew 5 out of The Message
Sounds like the hardest thing on earth, and it is! Even in relation to our families, friends and co-workers! Seems down right impossible, but as I was reflecting the week after it happened, and as I am going through some hard times myself, it came to mind that, "Everything that feels impossible to me, is possible for God."
Now it certainly doesn't feel that way and it doesn't seem that way. Especially because we want relief now. We want answers now! But over time, we will get answers, we will be carried through all this muck, and junk--amongst the pain and evils in this life, we will be carried through. We just might not be able to see that right now and that is where faith comes in. Faith is the substance of what is hoped for and the essence of what is unseen. Faith is hard. I can attest to that.
'Where there is pain, let us bring grace
Where there is suffering, bring serenity
For those afraid, let us be brave
Where there is misery, let us bring them relief'
So as hateful and harmful as the Colorado shooter is/was, and as disgusting as an act as it was, it is not my place to call him names, or to hate on him. I hope he figures out what is wrong with him, right where he belongs---in prison for life. And let me tell you, the praying part in the above verses is certainly not easy either. I have abusers and I have had to forgive them, but I have barely gotten to the place where I can pray for them. But I do not hate them anymore. That is Gods work in me. It's no credit to myself. And I believe with God working in all of us, we will be able to answer this next tough question.
God's love is like a roaring lion.
Who does God love more, the murderer or the murdered?
I can confidently answer with: both the same.
Might not be an easy pill to swallow, but I believe it to be true. It doesn't mean that God likes what happened, or approves of it, or doesn't see the degree of wrong this guy committed. Not.at.all. When I use the word love here, I am talking about AGAPE love, I don't use the word 'love' loosely or lightly.
I don't know about you
but I don't know what to do
with a love like that?
It's beyond comprehension. But it's how God loves me, you and yes, even the murderer.