The shootings in Virginia really have me reeling this morning, even as I sit far away in China, and I’m trying to process why.

Of course you have the wasteful loss, with two young people cut down for no good reason. I grieve for their loss, and for their families, and I can’t even begin to imagine the heartbreak and sadness that their loved ones are experiencing right now.

But in this specific situation, I find myself staring at the wall trying to piece together a tiny bit of understanding of what would drive a person to do such a horrific thing, with full intention of not surviving the day.

But understanding is eluding me.

I do understand the factor mental illness might play, and I understand the factor of personal and professional anger and frustrations, and I certainly understand the racial stresses that my country is undergoing. I understand all of that. I really do. But I just can’t begin to comprehend how the shooter came to the rational decision that carrying through an act like this would come close to being the answer to his problems.

He wanted to be liked and respected, as evidenced by the fact that he worked in broadcast journalism, and yet he had to have known that he would end the day hated and cursed by the vast majority of people. He claimed that he had been discriminated against due to his race, and yet he had to have known that his violent and unnecessary act would set race relations back rather than creating any empathy or understanding that might push it forward.

What kind of world do we live in, where such brazen acts of evil are carried out with such disregard? And even more, where the acts are filmed from the first person point of view, uploaded for the world to see, and then watched over and over again, possibly millions of times – watched with morbid fascination, as if it were only a video game or a found-footage movie, and not the ending of two precious lives?

It’s messed up.  It’s just so incredibly messed up.  On all levels.

And I just don’t get it.

And so, it’s times like this that the only thing I can is cling to what Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And I’m reminded once more how much I long for His return.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus.