This past week we all saw and heard the images and voices from Clackamas Town Center mall. A lone gunman, stealing weapons from his home, ran into Macy’s into the mall near the crowded food court and opened fire with an assault weapon on innocent bystanders. Killing 2, wounding another and thankfully jamming his weapon, ran on further and ultimately killed himself.
The question we all ask ourselves is “Why”? What could have caused Jacob Tyler Roberts to feel like he needed to do this terrible act? The answer is disappointing but easy; we will never know.
What we do know is the response by 911 operators, multiple local, county, state and federal police agencies and several local fire departments that had triage and incident response tents within 15 minutes of the first calls.
Many Public Safety Chaplains responded to their departmental calls that day and have been busy debriefing and meeting with their specific agency staff in the days since.
Picture of candlelight vigils both at Clackamas, Washington county malls and several towns and cities across the state were seen in the days since then.
All of our chaplains have been overwhelmed by the response from their respective staff, officers and Fireman; prayer for those who lost a loved one, fear for their families future safety and healthy questions about their spiritual life and worth before God.
The greatest joy for these chaplains is to be able to answer that question and how God is still active, alive and well and cares for us more then we do. Especially in this season of giving and family gatherings around the dinner table, it goes without saying that we feel a renewed sense of belonging and caring for others.
Imagine how God feels each and everyday, looking toward his creation and hoping and praying for each one of us as his children.
Would that we could feel and pass along these same emotions to our family and friends everyday!
God bless you this day, week and year-end as we look toward celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ!
Clackamas town center candle light vigil