Ashes and Dust

Human life is either sacred or it is merely dust, it cannot be both.

This morning I woke up to the headline: Mass shooting in Orlando Night Club, 20 Dead. A mere 40 minute drive from where I live.

As I am writing this, the count is up to 50 dead, and over 50 injured, all because of one man with an assault rifle. Officially the deadliest mass shooting in America to date.

Horrific does not begin to describe these events.

There are several angles here, one that speaks to gun safety and regulation, and another about Islamic violence (as the shooter pledged allegiance to ISIS). Both will surely be addressed from all sides. What I see is something much worse, a blatant disregard for human life.

As we continually read reports of 20, 30, now 50 dead, there is an emotional inoculation happening. Our brains cannot fathom the depth of grief and sorrow these families are experiencing. Tragedy after tragedy, we distance ourselves emotionally to protect our sanity and fend off despair.

Yet we still feel the sting of death. There is a voice telling us it should not be this way. Our emotions cannot hold the weight of countless tragedies, but our soul cries out that each life is sacred. Each life has eternal value, because every human has been imprinted by the Creator. Made in the image and likeness of God.

As the person of Jesus Christ and His Word are removed from our culture, we are losing the sanctity of life. Hatred becomes easy. We lose the will to fight for our marriages, for truth, and morality.

Without a belief in sacred life, death is simply a blowing away of ashes and dust. There is no motivation to love or care without the Creator. From dust we came, and to the earth we return, only the breath of God gives life intrinsic value.

There are those who ask, “why is there suffering if a loving God exists,” to which I reply, “without sanctity of life granted by the Creator, suffering is no better than pleasure.If life is only ashes and dust, who can say what is good or evil, what is wrong or right?

An agreeing majority does not give life any sanctity. No human can bestow on another some eternal value. Left to our own vices and desires we will surely succumb to all kinds of evil and destruction. Today’s events are just more evidence of this truth.

I have spent many years and many words on trivial topics, none that address what is most important. If we do not say enough! and implore this world to follow Jesus Christ, the Messiah, no amount of laws or regulations will stop the death and destruction we humans are capable of.

Let us not grieve or pray for the victims of each tragedy without praying our culture turns back to God. Let us not post a moving image with a hashtag and believe our job is done. We must do more.

Stephen Robles

Story Group, Lakeland, FL

Director of Creative Arts & Technology @WeAreCrossing | Snapchat + Instagram: stephenrobles