My girls and I were among the myriads of moviegoers to catch the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises last night. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has become one of my favorite movie experiences. The gritty realism along with the very difficult issues that they deal with is compelling. These movies open the door to an underworld of fictional evil that mirrors our own. And it could be that’s where the problem lies.
In our post-911 world, we have a real-life picture of what can really happen when evil runs rampant. And as we watch Gotham explode, the structure of a corrupted police force dismantled, and the threat of a nuclear disaster, I can’t help but wonder if this is as troubling to us as it should be. Have we become callous and immune to such darkness? I hope it bothers you as much as it does me. But in the movies, in the end, the hero triumphs.
That doesn’t always seem to happen in the real world, as we discover that one twisted person in Colorado used this movie release event as a chance to unleash his own hatred on a theater full of victims. Do I think that the media is to blame for this tragedy? No. It’s more of a reflection of what’s happening in our culture today. Art reflects life and life reflects art in a spiral motion. And the ultimate blame is found deep within each of us in a problem the Bible calls sin.
So where is God in all of this? Is He silent? Is He looking the other direction? Is He incapable of doing something about it? Or does He just not care? That couldn’t be more wrong. God is where He’s always been. He still has a master plan that will not be stopped to set things right. As Randy Alcorn writes in If God is Good, “God is all good, all powerful, and all knowing; he hates evil and will ultimately judge evildoers, and remove evil and suffering after accomplishing a greater, eternal good.”
So, in the wake of tragedy, we must not turn from God, but run to Him. When we look to Him and focus on what is good and right and true, we can also become instruments of His peace and His purpose in our culture. Let’s actively pray for those affected by this senseless violence. Let’s allow the anger and frustration over sin to fuel the fires of change and become the change we want to see in our world. Let’s continue to reach out to those around us with a message of hope in a seemingly hopeless world.