Watching the news this week after the shooting incident in Las Vegas, it occurred to me that I shouldn’t envy the LVPD, particularly since millions of people on social media are clamouring for answers, demanding action and nattering on in the most uninformed fashion.
It can’t be easy to be the source of information and the absolute worst thing you can do is get a detail wrong because you’ll be publically tarred and feathered when your mistake is known.
Having said that, anyone can see that they’re stalling, doling out information in dribs and drabs, managing public perception according to plan, and the public equally is aware of this and frustrated with the pace of information that is forthcoming and the main thing everyone wants to know is why Stephen Paddock did it and who else can share the blame for it.
The horrifying possibility is that the actions of the gunman may never be divined and when the history books are written that the whole mess will remain an open can of worms, writhing and festering, never becoming a settled answer to a very necessary question.
This for me is merely the latest in a long line of questions that have no answers:
What happened to Madeleine McCann? And is she still alive?
Where did the Malaysian airlines flight MH370 crash?
When will Christ return?
What or who likely motivated the Vegas gunman?
In the situation that happened this past Sunday in Las Vegas, and because of our common humanity, we can all instantly – and deeply – understand what motivated a military veteran to borrow (temporarily steal) a truck to transport victims to hospital:
Only in examining our darkest impulses could we scratch the surface of the mystery of the evil in this gunman. Still, most will never even contemplate any action in the same neighbourhood as what we saw on the news.
We need to make sense of it. Even though we know that murder doesn’t always have a rational reason:
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV). Well, the LVPD and FBI is trying to with this gunman.
Of course, as much as it is a mystery to us, to God, He knows all things:
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 14, NIV).
We want to know the future.
We want to know the ‘why’ of the past and present. With both types of questioning, God in His wisdom, has mostly kept it from us. We catch glimpses. That’s all.
We can know from scripture that:
- Mysteries will eventually be revealed;
- We can trust Him because He is good;
- We should heed warnings [*] and remember that the world is filled with violence.
What does He offer us or expect from us? Basically, to trust and obey:
“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3, NIV).