The news hit me last Sunday evening like a ton of bricks. My friend, Bob, lost his nineteen-year-old son in a car accident late Saturday night. Ryan was a phenomenal drummer, a sophomore in college with a promising life in front of him. In an instant it all changed. His father, my friend, is a successful executive at a world-renown accounting firm. Just over a year ago, he opened a recording studio – his lifelong dream. Just weeks ago, the studio signed its first artist. Bob and his wife, Dana, returned from a trip to Australia last week. They were on top of the world. In an instant it all changed. Ryan’s brother Brett was following in his brothers’ footsteps, with talents of his own. In an instant, his world changed.
Later that evening, the news of the Las Vegas shooting broke, and I thought about all the “Bob’s” and “Dana’s” and “Brett’s” who lost sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends in a senseless act of violence. In an instant, the lives of hundreds, maybe thousands of people changed. From the mountain to the valley. In an instant.
Throughout our lives, we all have mountain-top experiences and valley-experiences. To live life on the mountaintop seems magical, but unrealistic. Ironically, as we interact with an intimate circle of friends, we find some of them are on the mountaintop at the same time others are in the valley. In a painful irony, my husband and I traveled to visit our son this weekend. It had been six weeks since he left home for his freshman year at a college nearly 1,000 miles from our home. We were excited to see him – it felt like an eternity since we had seen him in person. Pangs of guilt infused my soul as I thought about the fact that Bob and Dana were laying their son to rest for a true eternity. This dichotomy of emotion is inevitable in the world we live. In Romans 12:15, the Bible instructs us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. I mourn with Bob and Dana, and with the Bob’s and Dana’s of Las Vegas.
The mountains have been shaken indeed this week, personally, locally, nationally. As we grieve with those who grieve and mourn with those who mourn, remember the words of God the Father, in Isaiah 54:10 10Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
Live in harmony with one another.
Isaiah 54:10 10Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.