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Emotions felt in certain traumatic events never go away completely. Similarity brings back a flood of feelings.  Such was the case this past week.  It will soon be thirteen years since the September 15, 1999 shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.  Many of the emotions of that night returned last week with the shooting in an Aurora, Colorado theater.  There are major differences in the scenarios but the commonalities are striking: darkened auditorium full of mostly teenagers and young adults (ours was for a concert), heavily armed shooter (ours had two guns and 200 rounds of ammunition), shooter throwing something in the air prior to shooting (ours was a home-made pipe bomb), shooter walking up and down aisles methodically shooting at defenseless victims (in ours, one person stood up and confronted the shooter), many thought it was a part of the program (ours thought it was a skit, some even yelled, “Shoot me!”), a nearby school became a gathering place for information and grief counseling, bodies still in the building hours after the shooting, the wounded praying for their lives, multiple versions of the events that transpired. And the similarities continue. At Wedgwood, we drew strength from God who “turns the shadow of death into morning” (Amos 5:8). When people asked, “Where was God?” our response was that God was where God was when His own Son, was killed – namely, in the midst of His people. We were reminded that Jesus came “to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death” (Luke 1:79) It is my prayer that those who suffer today, and those who re-live suffering today, “walk before God in the light of the living” (Psalm 56:13).

“Night of Tragedy Dawning of Light”, is the book on the shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church and its aftermath.  Although it is out of print, the full manuscript with pictures can be found by going to http://www.discipleallnations.org and clicking on “Free E-books.”

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