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When Goodness Stands Up to Evil »
Colorado was hit again this week by evil. You can’t call gunning down innocent students anything other than evil. But in the midst of the evil, goodness took a stand.
At Colorado STEM School in Highlands Ranch, in the middle of a British Literature class, a shooter opened fire. Without hesitation, Kendrick Castillo, a senior three days from graduation, tackled the gunman, giving other students an opportunity to flee. Several others joined Castillo in subduing the gunman and wresting the gun from his grasp. Castillo ultimately gave his life.
In press reports, we learn that Castillo was raised to be a good person. While his father had talked with him about what to do if ever confronted by a gunman, telling him he didn’t have to be a hero, Castillo told his dad he wouldn’t think twice about acting to save others.
Amid the heart-wrenching stories that have emerged from that dreadful day, comes the realization that evil exists in this world. Along with that realization comes the conviction that our contribution to the world can combat the evil. We can offer goodness.
Meeting a friend at a Starbucks near her church a couple days after the shooting, Cindy Nash of LifeSource Fellowship, looked up to see two sheriff’s officers entering. They were, in fact, the very officers she had watched for hours on television the day of the STEM school horror. “I have to buy their coffee,” she said to her friend as she walked over to greet them and thank them for their composure during the reporting that day.
Touched by her gesture, the officers explained why they were so far outside their district. “We just visited the Castillo family,” they said, “and learned that Kendrick was an only child. Their anguish has become our anguish.”
Had we ever imagined that the students themselves would be the first responders? More and more, we see heroes emerging in the midst of evil intent. At the end of April, Riley Howell, a student at the University of North Carolina, died while attempting to stop a gunman at his school, an action that likely prevented other deaths.
What do we do in the face of evil? If we want to combat it, we, like Castillo, like Howell, like Jesus stand up to it. We offer goodness.
-- Carol Bolden with Rajmund Dabrowski