Two Words of Hope in the Wake of the Las Vegas Massacre: ‘Follow Me’
“I’m here alone and I don’t know what to do!” Of the sounds from Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas, the cry of the young woman as rapid gunfire ricocheted around her was among the most harrowing.
“I’m here alone and I don’t know what to do!”
Another voice answered the terrified woman. “Follow me,” the man said, “Come with us.” He was a stranger, and given the ongoing carnage around him, amazingly calm. At first the woman didn’t move. He repeated, “Come with us.” Finally, she went along, presumably to shelter.
I’ve never been in an ambush. Never had someone rain gunfire down upon me where seconds before I’d been enjoying a concert. I don’t pretend to know this woman’s terror. But I know those words “I’m here alone and I don’t know what to do!” Most recently when abandoned in an ER awaiting word on my wife.
It’s a wretched feeling, one shared by many these past harrowing weeks.
Amid the Barrage, a Refuge
The world in recent weeks has left many feeling helpless and alone: When the waters rose in Houston. When the ground shook in Mexico City. When the winds flattened Puerto Rico. Even within the past 36 hours with terror attacks in Canada and France. Death is swirling all around us and the sense of danger is not easing.
“I’m here alone and I don’t know what to do.”
Happily, in those moments, we too can hear a voice saying “Follow me.” It’s the voice that told David, “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you shall glorify me.” (Psalm 50:15) The one David said was a “shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22) The voice that said through the prophet Isaiah: (Isaiah 43)
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Jesus Says “Follow Me”
Throughout the Gospels Jesus is always calmly urging those He meets: “Follow me.” Many said yes, a few said no. Yet what caught my eye this morning was a line we find in Matthew 19: “… and large crowds followed him, and He healed them there.”
I can’t help but picture the fleeing concert crowd, the storm-wracked villagers seeking food and shelter, the parents staggering from the rubble of a school wondering why their kids were crushed. And I pray they will follow his voice and find healing.
We pray urgently for the injured to be healed of their physical wounds. But we must also pray for the countless spiritual and emotional wounds. “My peace I give you,” He promised. (John 14:27)
President Trump spoke of this in his message this morning to the American people: “Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” he said. “We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those that grieve.”
If He is in our hearts we are never, ever alone. If we know to keep our eyes on Jesus, walk in his paths, we always know what to do.
And in His shadow we “will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.”