I could not help but be struck by the juxtaposition of two events that occurred yesterday. Most of you have heard of the terrible violence that occurred in Colorado. A young man in his early twenties named James Holmes entered a midnight showing of the new Batman film and gunned down several of the moviegoers. The sickening violence of this act has or ought to give many of us pause.
But many may not be aware of the death of another young man caught up in violence. Yesterday, this young man, also in his early twenties, was killed in Indiana. His name was Andrew Moore, and he was caught up in the violence of abortion.
You see Andrew was a part of the Crossroads initiative which invites young and old to walk across the United States as a sign of prayerful protest against abortion. At around five in the morning yesterday while walking and praying to save the lives of the innocent unborn, and though he was wearing a reflective jacket, Andrew was struck by a car, the driver of which was on his way to work and who was also a young man in his twenties.
Andrew was on this walk to protest, yes. But he was also using the solitude and the sacrifice of the walk to discern God’s will in his life. He was thinking about the priesthood.
As I’ve thought about these events, I return frequently to the notion that violence is a national pastime. We are as Americans often too casual about it and about its effects on our children. But the defect of violence in our culture is a mere sign of the deeper problem, which is an abandonment of Christ.
Including James Holmes and Andrew Moore in the same sentence may be a bit sacrilegious to some, but it is fitting to me because in these two young men, both Americans, both products of our culture, both seeking meaning, these two young men demonstrate to us that for all the talk of political machinations, what our nation requires is still – and I write this knowing that it might be taken as piously trite by some – but what our nation needs is the Kingship of Christ Jesus.
The work for the conversion of souls is a work for social justice that has no match. All the social programs, the faith-based initiatives, the self-help gurus, yes even the protests outside abortion clinics it is all less than meaningless if we do not give ourselves and our families over to the great physician Christ Jesus. Without Him, the coldly calculating violence of James Holmes and the stupefying horror that is abortion, a horror that drove young Andrew across our waves of grain, will not end.
Let us not forget that only in Him are all things possible. Only in Him can we break from the sins of violence in our own lives, the violence of deceit, the violence of calumny, the violence of torrid pornography, and all the rest. I write often here about the political ramifications of this or that policy. The work here is important. But we all know that what we need more than anything else in this nation is more young men like Andrew Moore.
Pray dear friends for Andrew and his family. Pray too for an end to abortion, which while legal in this nation of ours, will continue to make us rot from the inside out. Pray for James Holmes that God may eventually have mercy on his soul now that he will have to live with the fact of his evil deed. And pray for the kind of clarity of young Andrew Moore who wrote that he was walking across America “to serve God and help His children.” Would that we could all have such wisdom. Thank you Andrew for your witness.