I have decided to make today’s devotional a response to the Sandy Hook School shooting.
On Friday, December 14, 2012, America was once again shaken by another school massacre. A young man left his home in the morning after killing his own mother, then proceeded to kill 20 kids and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School before killing himself. People are left with the question: why?
As details are pieced together, investigators and psychologists will try to explain why this man would do such a thing. Maybe he had a mental illness. Maybe he was seeking revenge for wrong done to him. There are many possible explanations, but none are satisfactory. We are left with mere speculation.
There is a popular quote from the movie Silence of the Lambs in which the serial killer Hannibal Lecter responds to Clarice Starlings question “What happened to you?” by saying that there is nothing to explain his behaviour except that he is evil:
“Nothing happened to me, Officer Starling. I happened. You can’t reduce me to a set of influences. You’ve given up good and evil for behaviorism… nothing is ever anybody’s fault. Look at me Officer Starling. Can you stand to say I’m evil?”
This movie quote points out that the explanation for evil behaviour is evil itself. If this is indeed true, what is the solution?
There are many ways to explain why we do evil. Some of the most common explanations include childhood abuse, psychological instability, and minds corrupted by violent media. It is true that these things could cause people to do evil. However, the Bible would suggest that those things are symptoms rather than causes. They are symptoms of a deeper evil that can only be treated by Jesus Christ. There is no other way for our evil hearts to be transformed but by the work of God.
As we mourn with the friends and families of the victims in Newtown, Connecticut, let’s also pray that God would transform evil hearts, and be the light of Jesus Christ to everyone around us. This is the only hope for a corrupt world.