Words fail in the light of a tragedy like the shooting that took place this morning in an Aurora, CO theater. Senseless inhumanity is haunting, deeply saddening and impossible to fully comprehend.
When something like this happens the world changes a little bit. We realize that the assumptions we’ve been working off are no longer valid. The bubble that we built around our life bursts, and all of a sudden we’re exposed again.
Before 1999, most of us never thought twice about walking into a suburban public school. Other than bullies, where else could be safer? But then April 20th came, and two gunmen forever changed our landscape.
Until September of 2001, most of us were more afraid of the wings suddenly falling off of our plane than we were of terrorists—a word most often used in conjunction with something happening halfway across the world. But ten years, four planes and thousands of lives later we’ve never looked at air travel the same. Our lives changed, evolved, to account for something we had never known before.
For myself and many of the people closest to me December 9th, 2007 is the clearest reminder of how life changes. Many of us can’t walk the halls of New Life Church without at least a fleeting memory of what happened. I’m rarely there anymore, but the feeling never escapes me. It only dulls with time.
Now, after today, we’ll never enter a crowded movie theater in quite the same way as we did yesterday. Our innocence has once again been violated. Don’t get me wrong, we will enter again. We never lie down and surrender. But our lives have been shaped by today’s events in a way that will always be with us.
Colorado has experienced more than its share of senseless tragedy in my lifetime, and now we have a new reminder in our minds. A simple Aurora movie theater. Those there wanted only to escape reality for a little bit, instead they experienced a reality that most of us, thankfully, will never know.
They say lightning only strikes the same place once … they’re wrong. But now we have the benefit of past experience that tells us that we will be ok. We will move forward. And we will be stronger because of it.