April is one of my favorite months. The delicate spring flowers and temperate weather add a zip to my step. April ushers in hope that the long winter is ending. New life bursts forth from bulbs hidden in their dark tombs. It’s usually the month we celebrate the Jesus’ resurrection life shattering the grave. What can get better than that?
Recently, I have become aware that an inordinate number of tragedies have occurred in this most beautiful of months. Let me list the ones I’ve noticed, the Dark Side of April:
- 4/20/1999 Columbine shooting (date chosen because of Hitler’s birthday)
- 4/20/1889 Hitler born
- 4/19/1995 Oklahoma City bombing (date chosen because of Waco)
- 4/19/1993 Waco seige
- 4/16/2007 Virginia Tech shooting
- 4/14/1865 Lincoln assassinated
- 4/4/1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated
- 4/15/1912 Titanic sank
- 4/26/1986 Chernobyl explosion
- 4/11/1970 Apollo 13 oxygen tank exploded (safely landed 6 days later)
- 4/18/1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire
- 4/12/1861 Civil War began
- 4/19/1775 American Revolution began
- April 1940 Soviet massacre of 22,000 Poles in Katyn forest
- 4/10/2010 Poland’s top leadership died in plane crash en route to commemorate 70th anniversary of the Soviet massacre.
Some of these events illicit somber historical remembrances of events long ago. But some bring fresh pain and raw tears to hearts split apart by the senseless violence, hearts that will always carry the scars and never feel whole.
I’m thankful for the timely reminder of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. Wonder juxtaposed with evil. One of the things Jesus came to do is “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.” Christ’s resurrection doesn’t provide easy answers (I don’t believe any exist), but it does bring hope that someday, soon, things will be made right. He is coming again!