On Sunday night, a gunman opened fire on a crowd of around 20,000 people at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. The gunman was on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel when he started shooting the concert-goers below.
64-year-old Stephen Paddock shot and killed at least 58 people and injured at least 500 more. The death toll continues to rise, but this is already the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
In the midst of tragedy, opportunities arise for the country to be united and to lift each other up in support and love. Thousands around the country spent their morning praying for the victims and their families.
Many Christians not only prayed for peace and healing, but also for hope in the midst of this shooting. As Christians, we do not always understand why certain situations happen. We can, however, pray that God would make himself evident in the midst of tragedies and for wisdom on how to respond in love.
Earlier this morning, President Trump made a speech about the Las Vegas shooting and talked about that unity and love as well. He referenced the Bible and reminded the nation that light conquers darkness.
He said, "In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope."
Now, a hope-filled story has emerged out of the sadness. A ray of hope has shone through Taylor Benge's story.
Benge was at the concert when Paddock began firing. In an interview with CNN, Benge talked about why surviving the Vegas massacre has turned him into a "firm believer in God."
Taylor, a former agnostic, told CNN about the heroism that he saw throughout the entire attack. He said that he saw love in those around him.
He said, "My sister and I, we started running to the left and every time they shot, we took cover. My sister, being as noble as she, she actually threw herself on top of me and was saying 'I love you, Taylor, I love you.'"
Then, Benge talked about why he now believes in God. He said that throughout the attack, all he could do was trust in God and hope that he would be alright.
He said, "I was agnostic going into that concert, and I'm a firm believer in God now. Because there's no [other] way that all of that happened, and that I made it, and I was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today."
Below is the interview with Taylor Benge:
Please continue praying for all of the victims involved in this terrible tragedy. While this was a story of hope, there are so many people that are experiencing brokenness today with the loss of loved ones. Earlier, some of the victims of the shooting were revealed. Please be praying for their families.