A couple years ago, on our way to Bible study, we took our regular route over the river through the north side of town. The trees dipped in the light of a falling sun. Silver rimmed clouds floated lazily in a multi-colored sky. I was just remarking to my husband how lovely the fall colors looked in the shimmering sunset, when we passed through a crime scene.
Several police vehicles along with vested officers were on hand with guns drawn. On the opposite side of the street, interested onlookers stood with their cell phones held high, photographing the event. It was almost as if they were lined up to witness a parade, but this was anything but a celebratory occasion.
There was no doubt that something serious was going. Ironically, this all occurred right across from a funeral home. My husband knew instantly that the smell of death had permeated his nostrils. Growing up the son of an undertaker, had engrained that aroma in his memory forever. The smell of death – the fear of death – the everyday evidence of death.
Acts of violence like this and the one which occurred in New York yesterday, will continue to increase within our larger cities if we allow them to. Death will always be with us, even those who think they will live forever.
Life has taken on new meaning to many in our population. That which once was sacred is now unimportant. The consequences for taking a life have lessened. The ability to destroy life before it begins is commonplace. Hearts need to be changed before the violence ends. We can’t continue to solve “problems” by ending lives.
Even though that’s the case, those who come to God with repentant hearts, will receive His perfect protection and be confident that they need not fear evil. Our shepherd, Jesus, will walk beside us through the valley of death – the fear of life – the unknown of eternity. He will carry us through the most difficult situations life puts in our way. His shoulders are strong enough to carry the weight of our sin. He certainly can support us through the dangers of life as well.