A Texas reader gives me permission to publish the e-mail he sent to me last night. I’ve edited it slightly to protect privacy:
I know a guy, distantly, whose sister lives in Sutherland Springs. She had just started going back to church – this church – but for whatever reason skipped this morning. Her best friend and her best friend’s family were all members of this congregation.
You will hear about this family if you have not already. It is the family of 6 – husband, wife, and 4 children – of whom as of this writing one daughter (age 7), was killed, one (age 5) was shot five times and is in surgery, another daughter (5 years old) is also in surgery, and the oldest (7 years old) hid under a pew. The mother, as of now, is also “unaccounted for,” and law enforcement is not letting anyone into the church. The mother, therefore, is likely among the dead. When it all said and done, this family of 6 may have been reduced down to 2 in a matter of senseless moments.
My acquaintance tells me that [the 7 year old] says she saw two people shooting. I suspect this was a young mind struggling to make sense of what was happening. I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow and hopelessness this family will experience once they come out of their grief. Nor can I imagine how dark must have been the mind of this monster. Not a killer, not an asshole, but a monster bred in the fires of deepest hell.
You’ll forgive the rather rambling nature of this email. All of these killings, and the general state of things, is getting to me. None of these are fine or ok, but this one is just different. These were not people shot from a quarter mile away while at a concert. These were families coming together to worship God. They were participating in one of the most intimate of human activities, and many of their lives were ended before they could say amen.
Professor Pecknold made a keen observation. He tweeted: “Let me get this straight: There was a Mass Shooting…in a Church…and Liberals decided now was the time to attack Prayer? God have mercy.” Yes, that is the world we live in, one so take by our cultural sociopathy that we are unable to empathize with those whose husbands, wives, and children are now dead. Rather, we elect to take this opportunity to stand over their cold lifeless bodies and try to score cheap political points in a political battle the participants who which don’t respond to the will of the people in the first place. It is sociopathy, all the way down. We don’t care about the victims. We only care about feeling superior to those who by their discordance of political beliefs are now viewed as our enemies.
It makes no sense. None of this makes any sense. Hillsdale College has an excellent online series of lectures about the apologetic work of C.S. Lewis. One of the lecturers, Dr. Michael Ward, points out that Lewis regards the opposite of truth not as lies, but as meaninglessness. Even through a lie, we may derive meaning and therefore some truth, but only when something is meaningless does it stand completely opposed to truth.
This was meaningless. Whatever Kelley’s motivations, there was no truth to them. All truth flows from God alone, and no God would order, direct, or even nudge someone in any direction that would ultimately lead to a massacre of His own people in His own house. Kelley’s actions were meaningless. He died for no great cause. He died running from the consequences of his actions. He was a coward, and he was a monster, and while I hope that God shows him some sort of mercy, I hope and pray that the full measure of God’s justice has been, and will continue to be unleashed upon this man’s troubled corrupted soul. May good come of this, and maybe even may Kelley be forgiven by Almighty God. Those are not my decisions to make, praise be to God.
This has been a black day.
It was. Today is too. When I asked the reader for permission to publish his letter, he asked me to protect the privacy of the family members by not mentioning their names, but:
Otherwise, yes, please share it. I have been aghast at the amount of anti-Christian rhetoric, and in many cases unmasked disdain and even hatred towards the Christian faith in response to an act of hatred against the Christian faith. We have come off the rails.
If you know of a BenOp community anywhere around Dallas, or even elsewhere with nicer climates, I am all ears.
In some ways, this massacre lets you know where you stand with your fellow Americans.