My mood was running high last Friday morning. Banjo music filled the air as I reviewed my calendar for the day. It featured a daddy-daughter date at the movies with Grace. I had a grin as big as the day was long. But minutes later, as the first reports of the midnight movie massacre hit my computer, my smile disappeared and the banjos went silent.
Grace had been excited to see the new Batman film on opening day. So we went anyway. But before they dimmed the lights I looked all around wondering if we were sitting ducks for a copycat.
As the movie started my 12-year-old daughter grabbed my hand. She was oblivious to the under-cover agents peppered throughout the theater. Her innocence and affection filled my heart and I imagined myself throwing my body over hers to save her life. She handed me my smuggled-in popcorn (I do this routinely now thanks to Joe’s example) and I almost forgot about the news.
We both survived.
I got home and read the latest updates. Twelve dead. Fifty-eight wounded. Real people with real names and faces and families and friends. How do you make sense of it all? You can’t. Yet we all try. Three days have now passed and the news reports keep flowing. Three quotes have stood out to me so far.
The first one is from an 11-year-old boy who honored the police and first responders with a profound slogan, Real Heroes Don’t Wear Capes. Right.
The second came from Colorado governor, John Hickenlooper. Referring to the alleged gunman he said, I refuse to say his name. Appropriate, don’t you think?
I think the best quote came from President Barrack Obama. Technically it came from the Bible, the Book of Revelation: He will wipe away every tear and death shall be no more. I’m glad our president turned to this amazing promise. But I wish he had explained why heaven will be free from tears and death.
It’s because there is a Father who knows the pain and loss of a precious Son. A Son who was absolutely innocent. A Son who was subjected to brutal injustice at the hands of men. A Son who voluntarily entered into a plan in which He would step into a cosmic theatre called Golgotha and be ripped to shreds with the bullets of God’s wrath toward our sin.
His suffering and death takes away all our bad news, tears and death. In its place we get good news, life and joy that lasts forever.
I’m told there will be harps in heaven. But there will be banjos there, too, I think. They will be loud and clear and we will have grins as big as the day is long.
The Savior will be there, too. As well as many from Aurora, Colorado.