By Glen Foster
On Valentine’s Day, 1985 my wife and her close friend were shot at the college where they taught in Texas. The shooter took his own life in Debbie’s office. Thankfully, both ladies survived. It was, however, the only time in my life I did not feel like smiling.
A short flight from my home in Tucson is Las Vegas, where last night a shooter savagely murdered at least 58 innocent victims and sent more than 500 people to local hospitals. These folks were enjoying a country concert, only to have their lives and the lives of those who know them instantly changed forever. Today, God does not feel like smiling.
Certainly, the families and friends of those who died are left with inconsolable grief and endlessly unanswered questions. Today, parents have lost a child, children have lost a parent, husbands and wives have lost a mate, countless thousands have lost someone loved and cherished. Today is the beginning of tomorrows filled with emptiness and tears.
Based on our experience, the survivors of this senseless rampage will face at least a year of survivor’s syndrome and guilt, affecting their own well-being as well as close relationships. As I write this thirty-two-years later I do so through tears. For the concert attendees last night time will bring healing, but painful memories will resurface for the rest of their lives.
The prayer of the Psalmist must be our prayer. God, you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
The bright lights of the Vegas Strip were darkened last night by evil. Thankfully, our faith is in the Light of the World. In him, there is comfort and hope.
Glen Foster serves as the Coordinator for CBF West and as the pastor of Pantano Baptist Church in Tuscon, Arizona.