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An Open Letter to the Folks in Aurora, Colorado.

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The words that we use to comfort one another in times of need can sometimes seem pointless, tactless even, to those upon whom tragedy has been heaped. Keeping that in the forefront of my mind, using it to guard the bottleneck between my brain and my fingers, I will attempt to share my sympathy and comfort with the victims of this senseless attack, and their families.

As near as I understand it, a young man by the name of James Holmes walked into the 12:05 premier of the The Dark Knight Rises at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. He lobbed a canister of tear gas into the air, and he then opened fire on the crowd with a rifle, killing twelve and wounding numerous others. He was then arrested in the parking lot without resistance.

There are rumors of cellphone videos that have been posted online already, that depict the violence and its aftermath. I will not be watching any of those videos. I have no desire to witness the brutality, and to do so would make a mockery of those who were forced to live it. To those posting and watching those videos, I would ask you to please consider the families of those who have lost loved ones. Ask yourself, if it was your family member lost in the crime, would you want others watching it?

The news stories recount gruesome details. They speculate the reasoning behind the crime, and as I am writing, people are finding ways to manipulate this into blame for political parties. There are suggestions for new laws, new policies, and even talk of raising the national security level.

But no one has expressed any interest in comforting those who have lost loved ones, innocence, or faith in our country.

I make no bones about being a humor blogger, and I try to leave no doubt that I am also a Christian. And, having seen our recent community turn to God in times of tragedy, I would suggest that you all do the same. However, I will not spend the entirety of this blog forcing my beliefs down your throat.

“But Travis, why would God let this happen? How can the God you serve claim to be all-knowing, all-powerful, and merciful still let those people die? Why didn’t he stop it?”

Some, in recent days, will tell you that this is God’s punishment on the nation for sin. Be aware, that this is small fringe group of Christians, and do not represent the whole, much like the small group of Muslims that want to destroy America don’t represent the whole Muslim religion.

I do not believe that God caused this to happen. I do believe that He allowed it, simply because He allows everything to happen, and for a reason. As for why He’d allow it, I’m afraid that answer still eludes me. I have no idea why God allows bad things to happen to us, except to cite several biblical examples of people who endured great suffering only to be used mightily by God.

Will this terrible event be turned ultimately into something that glorifies God? Since God doesn’t do anything without glorifying Himself, then the answer to that is yes. How will that happen? I have no idea. I simply have faith that it will.

I am praying for the victims and their families. I am praying for the town of Aurora. I am praying for the state of Colorado. I am praying for the United States, and I am praying for those who lead our nation and how they will handle this terrible loss of life and trust.

I want those families to know that I love them. I’ve probably never met you, and I’m sure you’ve never heard of me. However, I extend my thoughts, prayers, well-wishes, and sincere condolences to you. As someone who has experience great personal loss, I can tell you that while time never fully heals wounds as advertised, but it does dull the pain. I hope you can look back at the lives of your loved ones and see how awesome they were, how much of a friend they were, and how good they made you feel.

There is no doubt in my mind that this event will draw the people of Aurora and even Colorado closer together as a community and state. Use that time wisely. Your state is no stranger to tragedy on a national scale. You are experienced in pain and suffering. Gather together and help each other through this, just as you’ve done before. Don’t argue over gun control and security levels. Comfort one another. Draw strength from the unity. Encourage and uplift one another with kind words and helping hands.

And if you don’t feel that your comfort needs are being met, email me. Facebook me. Text me. Call me.

Talk to me.

I will gladly spend any amount of time I have crying with you, remembering with you, comforting you. You are special to me. You are special to God.

You are His.