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Why do terrible tragedies happen?

Why do things like this happen?

I wish I had an easy answer for that question — one that was simple and short and spoke volumes. I wish I had an answer that made people, even me, nod and “Mm-hmm” in agreement, in understanding.

Why do people who are enjoying a music performance suddenly find that they are targets for some hidden sniper? Their carefree happiness turned to shock, horror and pain?

Why do people who are joined together for worship abruptly become targets for a man who has turned his back on what were once professed shared beliefs and fellowship in love?

Why do storms swoop in and destroy all that is familiar and peaceful and leave a sense of hopelessness in their wake?

I can say that some bad things happen because people make the choices to cause them. Other things take place because the physical world we live in is flawed in so many ways. Still other bad things happen because … because accidents happen.

What do we mean when we say things like, “The only two things that are certain are death and taxes?” I think it’s ultimately because we all know we cannot escape things that are bad, frightening, unknown and uncontrollable.

It’s part of the reason why when someone else hurts we hurt with them. With loved ones or complete strangers, we weep over loss and reach out to help.

I know bad things happen. God knows I’ve lived through some. Some of my friends did not.

I also know God is good.

I don’t know why someone murdered my friend Demetrius and left him in his car not far from his home earlier this year. But I know others who have been ministered to by God in the aftermath of that terrible event.

I don’t have pat answers. Anyone who offers a pat answer is lying to you or lying to themselves, looking for a way to wrap their heads around the “why,” Too.

But I know God is good. And you do, too.

It’s why we’re both praying for the people affected by Sunday night’s shootings in Vegas. And it’s why we’ll reach out to them in whatever ways we can. And it’s why we’ll do it again when terrible things happen again.

Because we love our neighbors, and because God is good.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.