Police Chaplain’s Perspective

Faith in the Wake of Tragedy
By Chris Amos

Today our hearts are collectively broken for the victims, families, first responders and all of those impacted by the horrific shooting in Vegas. I was spending time with the Lord this morning trying to make sense of it all. Trying to find good in something so unimaginably bad. And then it happened…

As if in high definition looking down on that tragic event I could imagine the darkness of a demonic presence gathering around that festival awaiting for the massacre to commence. Like the most vile of creatures one could ever imagine, these demons propped themselves on every ledge overlooking the intended target as if they were attending some kind of sporting event. Oh the whistle didn’t blow, but the first shot rang out signaling the beginning of this demonic carnage.

Those gathered below began to scream and the people began to cower in fear or run for their lives, just as the crazed shooter and the gathered legion of demons had hoped for. But then suddenly in the killing fields below something began to happen that was quite unexpected.

There, in that demonic darkness, one lone burst of light brighter than the noon day sun broke forth, as a stranger threw his body over two young women. And then another as a husband shielded his wife. A third light pierced the darkness as a nurse did the same. Brilliant explosions of light began to rise into that dark Sunday night sky as police officers, paramedics, fire fighters, members of the military, both active and retired, nurses and doctors and good Samaritans alike began to stand one by one encouraging, comforting, directing those in the crowd. Men and women, of every walk of life began to shine as they selflessly acted for the good of others giving little thought for their own well being.

What had only minutes early been a place of demonic darkness and hatred became illuminated by a light and a love so great that many would give their lives for complete strangers. And the circle of demons, many no doubt that had celebrated with glee the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, were instantly reminded of the brilliant burst of light and power and a stone rolled away revealing an empty tomb 2,000 years earlier. These demons and their master were reminded of their defeat that early spring morning as Jesus, the Risen Lord, conquered sin, death and the grave.

Many of these despicable creatures began to flee from that place for that is what darkness does in the presence of light, it retreats back to where it came. Perhaps one or two made their way to the shooters room as a tsunami of light and power made its way down the hallway as a SWAT Team approached the shooter’s door. Those last demons fled that room as the officers made entry only to find the gunman dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Friends, I am not trying to make light of the lives lost and the thousands of lives changed. I just want to highlight that even in the darkest of nights, Jesus is there. He is moving, He is comforting, He is strengthening. He is at work. He is providing for and protecting.

May the grace, peace, comfort and strength of Almighty God meet every person involved at their greatest point of need, both today and in the weeks, months and years to come.

Chris Amos is a retired officer and former spokesperson for the Norfolk Virginia Police Department. He is currently the pastor at Christ Fellowship Church in Norfolk. He is married for 30 years and is the proud father of three children, two of whom are police officers. He serves as the volunteer Chaplain for Norfolk Police Dept. and Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.