Praying for Vegas: While We’re Waiting

Romans 12: 1-2

The saying is what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. It is for the depravity and sins those who visit wish to rationalize their own behavior. And, given some bounds, a release from the confines of society can be helpful and positive. But, people are not supposed to stay in Vegas. People are supposed to enjoy their week or weekend and come home. At least 50 will not be with another 200 injured.

There is not much known in the immediate aftermath in what is expected wind up being the deadliest mass shooting in American history. A shooter positioned himself on floor 32 at the Mandalay Bay casino across the street from the Route 91 Harvest Festival, which is a three-day country music festival that draws upwards of 30,000 people. As the headliner of the event, Jason Aldean, played on stage, shots began to fire. Reports vary that the shots continued from anywhere between five and 15 minutes before police used explosives to enter the room of the shooter and take him down.

The shooter has been identified as Stephen Paddock and thought to be a lone gunman. Paddock is a white man who is in his 60s and has been living in a retirement community approximately 80 miles from Las Vegas in Mesquite Nevada. Local news Kiro7 indicates he had not had run-ins with police there, however the Washington Post suggests Las Vegas police were familiar with him from past encounters. Marilou Danley, a living companion of Paddock in Mesquite, is the only other person of interest identified by police, and she is in police custody being questioned. Her involvement- if any- is unknown at this time.

Details will slowly become known. Please use caution in what news you believe, share, and post. There are already many false news stories gaining traction, and even the details at MSM sites will change throughout the day as new evidence comes to light.

In the meantime, please join me in praying for those affected by this horrific tragedy. Sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings are supposed to be celebrations of our humanity. The past several years has seen terrorists across the world attempt to strip any security away from our lives. Pray for the police who ran towards the danger as everyone was frantically fleeing- who somehow found and stopped the shooting as quickly as they did.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I am also taking a moment to pray for people as a whole. For people who become deranged enough to see mass shooting as a legitimate option, for people who use these tragedies to spew snarky and hateful messages, for people who are broken and need to heal (that’d be everyone). Humanity is fragile, our world is broken, and there is only one path to salvation. We need to come together rather than push each other away. One great, big hug for all.