It was a tragic end to a wonderful evening where family and friends had planned to go the midnight screening of Batman The Dark Knight Rises. Many were gunned down by 24 year old James Holmes, who was dressed in body armor and a gas mask, at the Century 16 Cinema. Last count was 58 people hurt and 12 killed.
Many are questioning how and why something like this can happen. Some ask ‘where is God in all this?’ ‘How can he let people suffer.’ I don’t have answers, but I know an answer dropped in my email that day. Actually two emails, both from Chris Sigfrids, Senior Online Marketing Manager at WestBrook Multnomah. He quickly heard about the tragedy from his wife, as he was leaving his house for work. On the way to work he heard the rest of the story on the car radio. He, like most of us had questions. Many that seemed to come to him as he listened to the news reports and drove into work. In his first email he explains that
“I drove down I-25 listening to what had happened, just 50 miles up the road, I began to consider what the appropriate response was. Should I be angry? Should I forgive? Should I get a concealed carry permit? Should we have tighter gun laws?
In the second email he explains while in his office
“I … went to my bookshelves and found Randy’s [Alcorn] book, If God Is Good. I had read it a couple years ago and went through the table of contents to find chapter four. It gave me personal encouragement and I thought it might encourage others….”
Well I guess he got a lot of flack for his first email, people screaming that he was trying to sell books in face of this tragedy. He says that
“after spending 10 minutes with just a portion of Randy’s book, I felt comfort. I had answers. I found my orientation amidst the flood of possible responses.”
He wanted to share this comfort with many people; clergy, lay leaders, just us every day folks.
“My heart was simply to encourage others. I wanted to DO something about this senseless act, and this is what I thought I could do…something I could contribute,. A way to reach out and be an encourager,” he explained in his second email.
So in hopes that I can reach out and give others comfort also, I am embedding and giving a link so you can download chapter 4 of the book If God is Good by Randy Alcorn. I am also going to include the YouTube Video link of Randy being interviewed by Greg Laurie at Harvest Fellowship.
Randy Alcorn Interview
Here are links that Chris included in his email.
A link to chapter 4 so you can download the chapter to read on the device of your choosing.