The world turns on trust. You may say that you are not a very trusting person, but that simply isn’t true. You may not be as trusting as others, but you do in fact trust people. We all do. We couldn’t make it thru one day without relying on people around us. Don’t believe me? Think about it.
Yesterday you probably ate food. If you are like me, that food may have been purchased at a grocery store, a restaurant or even a greasy gas station. When you made the transaction to purchase the food, you trust the people responsible for that food to have not done anything harmful to the food. You trust someone you may have never met before to safely feed you that day. You trust the other patrons in the store or restaurant to not rob or harm you as you are making your purchase. You trust the general public to not steal, vandalize or impair your car while you are inside making a purchase. On your way to the store you trusted other drivers on the road to safely obey traffic laws and stay in their lanes. You trust the teller at the bank with your paycheck so you would have money to put gas in your car. You trust the gas station to have gasoline in their pumps and not water. You trust your place of employment to pay you on an agreed upon date. You trust when you they send you statements for your 401K that they are not just spending the money you are saving. You close your eyes at night and trust your spouse, parents and siblings to not harm you in the middle of the night.
You get on an airplane and trust that there are no terrorists on board wishing to send a message.
You go to college and trust that another student will not chain the doors shut and start killing their classmates.
You go to the movies and trust that no one will come thru the back door and open fire.
You send your kids to school, and trust in their safety.
99.9999% your trust is not misplaced. You eat food that is safe, you drive among safe drivers, and you close your eyes to wake to another day, 99.9999% of the time.
You get on and off airplanes without incident 99.9999% of the time.
You go to four years of college never once fearing for your life 99.9999% of the time.
You walk out of a movie theater happy and entertained 99.9999% of the time.
Kids come home from school, 99.9999% of the time.
And then there is that .0001%. When society lets us down. When our trust is betrayed.
Someone takes our trust, and abuses it in the worst way.
We call these times tragedy. Unexpected. Unprovoked. Unnecessary. Pointless. 1 in a million tragedies.
And 99.9999% of our country will mourn and pull together with our neighbors who we may not know, but trust on a daily basis. Because when trust is betrayed in New York City, or Blacksburg, Virginia, or Aurora, Colorado or Newtown Connecticut; trust is betrayed everywhere.
Questions will be asked in the coming days.
“How could we have seen this coming?” You couldn’t.
“What could have been done to prevent this?” Probably nothing.
“What can we do so this never happens again?” Nothing.
The truth is trust will continue to be betrayed. We are not smart enough, nor will we ever be, to know how to prevent people from betraying trust.
There is only One who is truly worthy of our trust, because He is the One who is assured to never betray that trust. The sad thing is, I have been guilty of betraying of the God who promised to never betray me. And yet He forgives me time and again and trusts that I will do better.
And so to move on from a horrific tragedy such as this, we offer the ultimate forgiveness, by once again placing trust in our neighbors and in God.