For many years the advertising theme for those visiting Las Vegas was what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but that is not the case anymore. Things have radically changed with the first crack of a hammer breaking glass on a 32nd floor window. As a nation mourns and many in the world respond, what happened in Vegas doesn’t have a chance of staying in Vegas any longer.
Windows create vision and are designed for viewing, to share beauty and surround oneself with nature, light and warmth, not dark ugly wounding and cold-hearted killing. It is ironic that a window is referred to as a pane, and yet pain is what happened as a result of the devastation released through this particular hotel window.
There are no easy words, no simple antidotes no formal declarations, no statements, utterances, or pronouncements with any understandable responses that will suffice those who want an answer to the simple yet complex question, why?
A concert and a dance instantly turned into a cemetery and a dirge that sent thousands fleeing in multiple directions fearfully trying to escape the onslaught of evil. This evil was physically penetrating the hearts and souls of men and women gathered to celebrate and now left to contemplate the blood, despair, discouragement, anguish and exhaustion that for some may last a lifetime. For others, their lifetime abruptly ended with the tragic and senseless squeeze of a trigger aimed at the innocent.
The brave souls who ran toward the danger, huddled over bodies, provided a human shield, and engaged in heroic efforts will never be forgotten while many will never be known. It was a hastily assembled team of volunteers who out ran the greatest touchdown run in Super Bowl history, out drove the fastest Indianapolis race car, and outmaneuvered the greatest obstacles and hurdles of an Olympic athlete to bring aid and comfort. These men and women willingly helped provide life saving medical attention to many they had never met. They did so without hesitation or the resources, supplies and in many cases without any training, in hopes of saving one more. Some literally gave the shirt off their back to stop the bleeding. Others gave their lives. Greater love is rarely expressed.
There are many others who could and should be mentioned with thanksgiving for their ongoing effort as this tragedy unfolds and will continues for many weeks and yes, years to come. Families who are torn apart with grief will never forget that fateful day in Las Vegas. The memory of certain events may fade, but the remembrance of those loved ones and their ordeal will remain. What happened in Vegas will never just stay in Vegas.
The book of Psalms says in Psalm 92:12, “the righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.” There are many palms in Las Vegas, many varieties, and many sizes. Palm trees have deep roots going straight down, which enable them to bend in a storm but rarely be uprooted. They are full of life giving water, and weather storms in ways that other trees are incapable of. They have something called elasticity in them that enables them to bend in fierce storms, but later bounce back up again, providing an oasis of shade and expression of hope to the weary and downcast. There is a life sustaining response that palm trees provide. Palm trees have a joyful appearance that radiates the sun, rustles in the wind and engages one to relax and be at peace. May peace be extended to all those who presently need it.