It is almost numbing, isn’t it?  Way too often there’s another mass shooting with more people killed.  It defies rational thought.  So we offer up a prayer and file it away in that bulging file “Not Understandable.”  Then we move on to read about business or sports or politics.

There’s no one single reason these shootings are happening more often and with greater intensity.  You can pick out the people who think they’ve got it all figured out.  They’re typically the louder ones in the room.

We are all pretty helpless against isolated, angry, emotionally unstable people bent on doing evil.  Some of their weapons include guns and knives and homemade bombs.  Most of the conversation among talking heads and politicians have to do with outlawing weapons.  I’m hearing very little regarding anyone’s spirituality.

One thing is for sure.  No one with healthy relationships, with other people or with God, could do these heinous acts of evil violence.  I always think of that person who jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge years ago and lived to tell about it.  He said that as he walked to the bridge that morning, if one person had greeted him or even smiled at him, he would not have jumped.  Obviously, no one did.

I think, too, about the number of children who are not raised in God-focused homes.  With no spiritual foundation in their lives, how many hours a day do they entertain themselves with mind-numbing games, killing imaginary enemies on their phones, ipads, etc.?  Psychologists tell us that when a person’s “imaginary life” becomes their life, it is no longer imaginary to them.  And life, especially that of others, becomes valueless, whether it’s an unwanted child in the womb, or someone who disrespects you at school or work, or someone of another culture or religion.

There may be things our legislators can do, but thinking we can legislate people with evil thoughts and desires away from evil deeds will go only so far.  Legislation, history tells us, is only successful among people who choose to be legislated.  For example, the speed limit outside my office is 35 mph.  Believe me when I say there are many people driving past your church daily who have chosen not to be legislated.  So then, let’s go ahead and legislate a few more of these pieces of this cultural puzzle.  Just don’t be surprised if more legalism doesn’t bring about better people.

Christ came to do what the law could never accomplish.  Love is the only thing that will conquer hate.  Hope overcomes despair.  Compassion can bring some off the bridge.

We cannot put a stop to senseless acts of evil.  But we can persist in showing what Jesus taught us to show to everyone in this world in spite of the chaos.  And we can refuse to give up on the knowledge and firm belief that despite what we cannot understand, God is still in control.