It's revolting to hear of the senseless massacre of lives, whether on the killing fields of Vietnam or at an abortion clinic in China or in a gay nightclub in America. The wickedness of the heart has always found a way to satisfy its thirst for blood, and this week it enjoyed a royal banquet on our doorstep. This isn't newborn wickedness with a newfound appetite, it's merely the unveiling of the hideous flesh that's always been a part of the deadly feast.
I confess the news unnerves me. At every corner it seems we're being assaulted with the destructive nature of sin's deceptive kiss of death. I'm struck with the utter selfishness of that kiss, how even my compassion for the grieving barely utters a word of sympathy before turning its attention inward. How my prayers for the healing of the wounded barely leave my heart before turning into pleas of safety for me and my own.
Even as I uphold the value of every precious life that has been lost this week, I ask myself why the stench of death that always fills the air doesn't capture my attention as sharply as a horrific news story. I find myself asking why it takes a tragic event in Orlando to jolt me with the sobering reality of how recklessly and ruthlessly wickedness runs down its path of destruction.
The only way I can live with the daily reminder of this destruction is by fearing my God who holds power over life and death. Not the fearing that comes with the reality that there's little I can do to shield myself from the advance of wickedness, but fearing that comes with the reality that my God is the absolute sovereign authority of this world and that He alone has power to save.
I want to honor the words of Jesus. I want to obey His words of instruction not to fear those who kill the body but who cannot kill the soul. So I am pleading for grace to fear God. And I am pleading for that fear to keep driving me out of complacency. The destruction of lives is tragic, and I never want it to stop ripping out my heart and motivating me to action. But I want the horror of death to compel me to godly fear, not selfish fear. A godly fear that compels me to expend my energy throwing a lifeline of gospel hope to those being smothered to death with the kisses of our real Enemy.