Our country is reeling with the news of what has hitherto never touched our country in the terrible scale it appears to be in this shooting within two city mosques (49 dead and dozens still in hospital).
Yes we knew of terrorism elsewhere — but yes, always “elsewhere”! And if we strayed overseas we always had a safe little country waiting for our return.
The first I personally knew of this sort of event was when we started our first big overseas trip, arriving in LA in 1999 at the time of the Columbine school shooting. Of course, that shook the USA as much as yesterday’s shooting is shaking our country at present, as we wonder “What next?” — nothing more, we hope! No retaliations, we hope! Have we moved into a new era of fear from guns? Is our relatively low racist factor now under threat?
Locals will also be wondering if certain workmates, team-mates, or neighbours may be among the dead or being treated in hospital. That’s how well the races have mingled in our country. “They are us,” said a Christchurch local very emphatically during last night’s news — as if to ask How dare somebody bring in an ideological element? These people probably fixed our cars, tutored in our universities, delivered us our broadband and medical services.
Those locals speaking on the television news were proud of the city’s “diverse” culture but of course that doesn’t necessarily mean that all pull together — they can be pulling in different directions, and the cost is yet to be seen. A diverse culture can be held together by each caring for others as fellow human beings, but even that can fail. And when it does, up jumps that question again — What next?
Those who know that God said evil will multiply (and how), now wish we’d had a louder voice. Meanwhile the 99.9% who would never do such an act feel vulnerable as they wonder how to stop the .1% who might.
Now that peaceful ‘little’ New Zealand is becoming more like other countries where these things are already happening, it seems inevitable that we are drawn into the maelstrom of change — economic, social, political, moral etc. We glory in the freedom offered by the technological changes but have never expected terrorism to slip in on the sly.
The only way to make sense of it on our own doorstep is to look forward to when God intervenes as he says he will — but that will be after those with the “global” vision of humankind discover they cannot permanently mend it themselves. God’s intervention to deal with evil will be beyond our imagination, catastrophic, something to endure before peace is established on God’s terms.
Human terms, however well-intentioned, well-organized or well-supported, aren’t sufficient.
Please do record your comments! I’ll add more if there is interest!