She spoke calmly as she informed the travelers in the terminal that their flight had been canceled. They awaited more information. Meanwhile, my family and I departed on our flight from the same terminal giving little thought to those left waiting. The next morning as I removed the newspaper from the orange plastic wrap and read, I knew the reason for the cancellation – Esteban Santiago’s shooting spree. Santiago took five lives, physically wounded six others, and caused emotional trauma to innumerable travelers and loved ones.
I don’t know if the helpful airline agent knew the reason for the delay she announced. If not, she was merely passing along needed information. If she did, then she wisely withheld knowledge best not known by the soon-to-be air-bound passengers. With wheels now on the ground, all know the reason.
Reason. There’s an interesting word.
Why? There’s a universal question.
When events like the one in Fort Lauderdale occur, reason and why? enter the conversation. Investigators probe the case and psychologists analyze the shooter seeking answers; so, too, do we. We seek answers from God.
He is quite familiar with our questions. They are as old as Genesis, perhaps even Eden.
I do not attempt here to provide answers. I join you in the asking.
I do, however, point to hope.
I point also to prayer.
Recall the words of the Apostle Paul – (Philippians 4:4-9)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.That “rejoice” part is a bit difficult to swallow at times. When it is, proceed to the “gentleness” and “do not be anxious” steps (they will help you with your ability to swallow when you return to the first step) and continue on to the suggested topics of thought – Truth, nobility, etc. Those topics certainly cheer the hearts of those whose minds are consumed with reflections on death, taxes, and “reasons.” We never should turn a blind eye to the troubles of this world or retain a callous heart toward those in pain. At the same time, surrendering to constant reflection on the less than noble and quite unlovely fails to bring about even one thing excellent and praiseworthy.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Think. Live. Love. Hope. Pray.
And the God of peace will be with you.