Hebrews 10:35 Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37 For yet “in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay; 38 but my righteous one will live by faith. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.” 39 But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.
Verses 38 and 39 use the phrase “shrink back” to describe someone who would fall away from faith to avoid being a target. As I read the passage this morning I’m aware my temptation isn’t to “shrink back” from Jesus. My temptation is to grow numb to the constant drumbeat of death and loss in the news.
This morning I woke to the news that a gunman had killed 50 people and wounded many more at a concert in Las Vegas last night. The description is truly horrible. It’s said to be the worst mass killing in US history, which is saying something. And while I was in shock for a few minutes, I realized my capacity for shock and outrage is about gone. Violence and death, whether man-made (war, shootings, terrorism) or events in nature (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood), are constant. At least that’s how it seems to me this morning. It. Never. Stops.
It’s not that I don’t care about these things. I really do. It’s just that my mind and spirit can’t seem to keep up. It’s just too much. I’m numb.
Kyrie eleison (Lord have mercy). Amen.