I first heard the news of the December 9th shooting at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs on the internet when I was in Malaysia. It was pretty shocking to hear that a gunman walked in to the church after one of the services and starting shooting.
But over the years, I have learned that God always turns tragedy into a triumph. We know that this is His track record when we read the Bible and even when we look at the cross.
This is why I was so encourage to read that the parents of the gunman and the parents of the two teenaged girls who were killed “met and hugged and cried.”
On January 3rd the parents met together. The lead pastor of New Life Church, Brady Boyd invited the Murrays (the gunman’s parents) to come to visit the church. The Murrays readily accepted the invitation and was given a tour of where the rampage happened.
First of all, I was a bit surprised that this kind of story was on CNN. But then again, it made sense because it is big news. How in the world can anyone forgive when they have gone through a tragedy? It must be a love of another kind. This is what draws people to find out, especially news reporters.
I am wondering what would happen if the people in the Church really lived out the Gospel message of forgiveness. It will definitely be an unexplainable witness that will cause people to find out more. Maybe our greatest avenue of witness is not the big programs and events but simply by forgiveness and reconciliation. How is our witness?
Pastor Brady Boyd said, “[It was the] highlight of my ministry. It made me evaluate my own life and think, ‘Is there anyone I’m not forgiving?’ I’ve never seen repentance and forgiveness as profound as I did that day.”
The Murrays in a written statement said, “The depth of our sorrow and our grief is greater than we could possibly describe. But with thanks to God, these remarkable families and their pastors and churches, healing and reconciliation have begun.”
You can read the whole CNN story here.