12/15/12 Hector about 25
Hector, a father of young twins, was browsing the boxing magazines at the grocery store when I used a million dollar gospel tract as a conversation starter. He laughed about it at first, but quickly became serious when I told him about the question on the back – “Will you go to heaven?” His thoughts went almost immediately to the shooting of the children, and I could tell it had really been on his mind, being a parent himself. “It really makes you reflect, to wonder what this world is coming to” he said. It might be tempting for people to stand in judgment of the shooter, feeling righteous by comparison, but not so with Hector. He was clearly disturbed by the evil we as humans are capable of. He tried to rationalize, saying this man must have had some sort of mental illness. I agreed, but told him “Let’s say he did have a mental illness, that for some reason he had a weaker and more impressionable mind than most people. Why the massacre? Could it be that he was just acting out what he saw around him? What does that say about us and our culture and our obsession with violent entertainment?” I didn’t say anything about Hector’s interest in boxing, but I didn’t need to. He was very self-reflective, willing to consider where he stood in relation to God. We went on to a long conversation in which Hector asked me a wide variety of questions that have been on his mind about Christianity. I could tell that he wants to believe, but didn’t know how to answer his skeptical friends. He asked all about my church, and I pray I may see him there this morning. I think when tragedies like this shooting happen there is a window of opportunity for us to talk to others about more serious, eternal things, but we need to do it now, before everyone goes back to their mindless, violent, "harmless" entertainment.