A gunman entered a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, throwing smoke or gas canisters and firing gunshots into the crowd. 12 people were killed in the attack, and another 58 were injured. Police evacuated the theater and later nabbed the gunman near a car parked behind the theater, but didn’t name a motive for the shooting. Later, a police truck arrived at the apartment complex where the suspect lived, to deal with the threat of explosives there. Those injured are being treated at nearby hospitals, police said.
In the face of a tragedy like this, we can seek answers that will ensure safety for all, heal and uplift those involved, and comfort the community.
“A fixed fact in the face of violence” asserts that an act of violence can’t make evil more powerful than good, and that our response to a heinous crime like this can be divinely guided, rooted in love for humanity, and based on a desire to comfort and protect each other. As we pray, we can hear God’s voice telling us what appropriate steps to take to keep ourselves and others safe, and to prevent future acts of senseless violence.
“A step toward stopping violence” expands on this line of reasoning by explaining how we can all develop spiritual intuition, the habit of listening for God’s direction and “thinking of individuals in spiritual terms.” This type of prayer doesn’t condone or turn a blind eye toward evil acts; rather, it helps to remove dangerous tendencies by recognizing as real only those peaceful, stable characteristics that come from God, infinite good. And this same God also comforts, with mothering love, those who were affected by the tragedy.
As we seek to respond to events in Aurora, let’s let the Christ, “the divine message from God . . . speaking to the human consciousness” (Science and Health, p. 332) guide our thoughts and actions, and let it lead us to meaningful solutions that both bless and protect.