Pennsylvania gunman chose darkness over light

After turning out the lights, a Pennsylvania gunman opened fire during a Latin dance class at a suburban Pittsburgh fitness center on Tuesday night, killing three women, injuring nine others, and finally taking his own life.

I have to wonder why he bothered to turn out the lights.

Perhaps George Sodini, 48, didn’t like the sight of blood. Or perhaps deep down, he couldn’t stand the sight of what he was doing. If the LA Fitness in Bridgeville, Pa. resembles others, the aerobics room where the incident occurred is likely trimmed in wall-to-wall mirrors.

It’s an old adage, but true: people typically sin in the dark. When are we most fearful of a home burglary? At night, when the lights are out and it’s dark outside. Robbers can usually hide more easily in the dark. Sinners can often hide more easily in the dark, too. Or at least, we think we can. God always sees.

According to FOXNews, “He listed his status as ‘never married’,” and he characterized himself as a depressed loner with no way out of his misery other than death. Neighbors described Sodini as anti-social.”

Sodini was probably one of many unidentified neurologically challenged individuals in the United States. Anti-social behavior is common among several diagnoses, such as depression and Asperger’s disorder. Perhaps this is one thing on which nearly everyone in America can agree: Sodini’s behavior was atypical.

While it is tragic that his mental challenges were not addressed, or at least not successfully, that does not excuse his behavior. This was not a moment of insanity. Sodini planned his violent act months in advance, citing on his Website his hatred for women as the reason for his atrocities. When the time came to enact his plan, he posted his own date of death, August 4, 2009, and stated, “Death lives!”

“Death lives” sounds like an oxymoron, but all the dead in body do live on in spirit–somewhere.

Sodini was a self-admitted man of misery. His misery ran so deep he mistakenly saw death as his only hope for a new life. But the only new life worth dying for is the one Jesus Christ offers us–a life of unhindered fellowship with God, a joyous life that begins on earth and continues forever in heaven. The only other afterlife is a living death in eternal darkness.

This tragedy should underscore the importance of believers reaching out to a dark world, even to the most challenged individuals, and teaching them the joy of living in the light instead of dying in the dark.

“You are a chosen race A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9


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