Like most people on Eastern Standard Time, I woke up this morning to news of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting, now confirmed to be the largest mass shooting in the U.S., overtaking the awful massacre at Orlando’s PULSE nightclub last year. We don’t know the exact number yet, but over 50 people are dead, and over 200 are wounded.
I have sat at my computer for the better part of two hours, feeling despair as I read the story of these terrible events. How the shooter used some sort of machine gun to mow people down from his perch 32 floors up at the Mandalay Bay. How he is now dead. That he ruthlessly took dozens of people out of this world before police took him down.
At this point, that is about all I know specifically about the shooting and the victims. I have not heard their names or seen their pictures; this information has not been released. And though I am sure a macabre social media scavenger hunt could yield some of that information, right now I know I should let their families grieve in private.
So, I don’t know a lot about last night’s Las Vegas mass shooting. But here is what I DO know about it.
I know that life is short. I know that we are not guaranteed another minute here on this earth, much less another day.
I know that good people do and will suffer the consequences of the choices of bad people.
I know there are helpers and heroes in this world that wear the uniforms of security guards, police officers, doctors, nurses, and EMTs.
I know there are helpers and heroes that wear civilian clothing.
I spent most of this morning thinking that, besides praying, “I don’t know what to do.”
But then, it hit me that I DO know what to do.
I know that I owe the Las Vegas mass shooting victims a few things. And these few things are things I must DO.
Because they cannot, I know I owe it to them to recognize life is short. I owe it to them to not waste the time I do have,
I know I need to say the things that have been left unsaid in my relationships.
I know I need to STOP taking my loved ones for granted.
I know I need to SEEK OUT that friend or family member I have been avoiding and make things right between us.
I know I need to DROP the grudges I hold an extend forgiveness.
I know I need to put my kids before my work.
I know I need to put my husband before any other human or obligation I feel beholden to.
I know I need to say “I love you” often and with abandon.
I know I need to tell others about Jesus while I still have breath in my body.
I know I need to pray without ceasing for the love of Christ to CHANGE LIVES and obliterate evil.
I know I need to pray for the victims who still live, and for the families of those who will never get the chance to do all the things I just mentioned above.
This is what I know about the Las Vegas mass shooting. And this is what you know, too.
My deepest, deepest condolences to those who are injured and to the families of those who lost their lives. Words cannot express what I feel for you. My heart has been crying out to God for you all morning, and it will continue. You are loved.