In a gripping case of art imitating life, the film April Showers took me back to April 20, 1999, where I sat in my Freshmen Government class at my Denver High School, as we watched the events of the infamous Columbine shooting on the local news.
As a Denver native, the effects of the Columbine High School shooting have always different – like it went down in my neighborhood. On the other hand, the bombardment of attention Columbine received got old after too long. I, like many others, just wanted to move on from the tragedy. After watching the movie April Showers, which pays tribute to the countless victims of school shootings, I was reminded of Columbine, and thought about something deeper.
What would I think about God if I lived through something like that; moreover, what would I think if I lived and a friend didn’t? On top of that thought, how would I feel if one of my friends did something like that? A tragedy like Columbine has a lot of complex facets that don’t exactly wrap up into a neat package. Events like this changed the nation. In turn, what is a Christian response to violent, deadly, events that change the face of our schools and our nation?
Our world is broken, this is nothing new. It’s okay to feel sorrow when things fall to pieces. It’s okay to doubt and question God when the chaos of the world unfolds before our eyes. Yet, we are here with a life to live, even if that life is amidst chaos, pain, tragedy, violence, and other human brokenness that we don’t fully understand. We can choose to live in hope or in fear. But, a line from April Showers shares some insight, “The fear of pain is the fear of living.” Hopefully, these horrific events in our world don’t leave us bound in fear and we can put our hope in the redemption of the cross through the faith God gives us.