Amid all the debates about guns over this past week, I heard a radio conversation in which a young gun owner was demanding that he had nothing in common with Adam Lanza, the Sandy Brook Elementary shooter. While I understand the point, I believe that I might have a few things in common with Adam Lanza.
I know that I often think better of myself than I should. I know that I naturally want to be selfish, reckless, and vengeful. I know that I am often only one or two bad decisions away from wrecking my life, and maybe the lives of others. I know the paths that I could easily head down with just a little push.
I know what is it like to be lonely, to be left out, and to feel like an outsider. I also know what it is like to be a bully; to hurt other people just to validate myself.
Just like Adam Lanza, I am a broken person living in a broken world. All of us are. We live with emotional hurts, temptation, rejection, abuse, violence, and raging selfishness. We live within systems that perpetuate and celebrate sin and brokenness.
This is not to excuse the evil actions of Adam Lanza. Horrible evil should never be excused. I hope, though, that we will remember that the propensity for evil lies in all of us. It is only the grace, mercy, and love of God and other people that rescues us. I am thankful for the people who have cared for and invested in me. I am eternally thankful to the God who has rescued me.