Last night in Colorado, a young man walked into a movie theater and took the lives of innocent people. As of now, 12 people were killed and many more were wounded.
We are shocked and saddened by this news. Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are for the family and friends of the people who were in that theater last night. We are sorry beyond words. We ache with you today.
We don’t know the story of the shooter. We don’t know what could lead a person to do such an awful thing.
Today we learned that his parents live in San Diego.
There is a car in their driveway.
There is a TWLOHA sticker on the back of that car.
We don’t know whose car it is or how the sticker got there.
But we know what that sticker means.
It means that millions of people struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. It means that the majority of those people never get the help they need and deserve. It means that what we do with our pain – how we respond to it – matters. Perhaps it’s one of the biggest questions we get to answer in this life.
We believe it’s possible to change. We hear from people taking brave steps toward hope and help and healing. We hear from people sitting across from a counselor for the first time, people stepping into treatment and people picking up the phone to call a crisis hotline. We hear from people pursuing sobriety and stability.
We believe that great help exists and we know the first step is often the hardest one to take.
If you’re struggling, please talk to someone. It’s okay to ask for help. People need other people. If someone you care about is hurting, talk to them. We know it’s not always easy, but it could be the thing that changes everything.
We don’t know the story of the sticker on that car in San Diego. But we know it sits before a home that must be filled with questions and shame and heartache. And so that home will not be excluded from our love. As we think and pray for the victims, for the many people hurting today, we will consider them as well.
Our job now, those of us simply observing today, shocked by this awful news, our job is to love people. When it hurts. When it’s awkward. When it’s uncool and embarrassing. Our job is to stand together, to carry the burdens of one another and to meet each other in our questions.
This is what that sticker means.