SAY HELLO TO LISA!
Lisa is the sister of Thomas Gunderson, who is a victim and survivor of the Las Vegas Shooting, which has been declared as the deadliest mass shooting ever committed by an individual in the United States. The shooting would claim the lives of 58 innocent people and injure another 546 victims and survivors, including Thomas. Who is known for being the shooting victim who was shot in the leg and whom stood on his injured leg out of respect for the President and First Lady, when meeting them. Though that respectful and yet painful stand on his part has garnered both praise and criticism. Yet he has responded to all comments and opinions with class, grace, Christ’s love, and all while sharing his faith. It is his faith and love for our country that would inspire this Q&A Blog post.
His sister, Lisa and her husband were there in the hospital with him (see pic above) as he was being treated for the injuries he sustained. As I’ve gotten to know Lisa, I’ve come to find that she’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. She exemplifies a servant’s heart, as she serves along side her husband who is a Youth Pastor. Serving in community outreach with their family and church, and being readily available to help anyone who is in need.
Now being a victim of violence myself, I know the toll the trauma from violence can have on the victims, survivors, and their loved ones. So I hope all who read this will be encouraged and your hope renewed as Lisa shares what, “Having A Christian Perspective When The Unthinkable Happens”, through her own personal account of what Thomas and her family have experienced in the aftermath of the shooting. My prayer is that this blog post will help others to understand how to have faith in the midst of a world filled with violence. Especially for the victims and survivors impacted by the Las Vegas shooting and all the other shootings that have recently taken place, I hope if anything this blog post helps you to heal. Though I know that healing will never change what happened, please know my thoughts and prayers are with all of you and that this blog post is dedicated to you!
Guest Blog Q&A:
Tell me what those moments were like for you as a family when you received the news that there had been a shooting in Las Vegas & Thomas was shot?
My dad called me at 11:30 at night. Just hearing the phone ring and seeing it was him I knew something was wrong. I go to bed early so no one ever calls me that late. When I answered my Dad said there has been an incident and Thomas was shot. Go turn on the news. He was so upset he forgot to mention he was ok. I immediately turned on the TV and started calling my sister. It was unbelievable. Unreal. I was so scared.
With being a Christian, tell me how faith has played a role in how you responded and handled the news of this tragic shooting?
Being a Christian gives me the belief in God and I have faith that everything has a reason but I was still upset. I couldn’t understand the why until a week after the fact. So many people have stepped up to support us. So many people have come together because of this. Isn’t that what God really wants? For us to love everyone no matter the person or circumstance.
What has the aftermath been like for Thomas and your family and how do you keep the faith?
The after math has been rough and amazing at the same time. Thomas has dealt with nightmares and pain. His recovery was long and painful. For us we have learned that each day is so important and we need to be kind to everyone because you just never know. Spreading the word of Christ is my goal more than ever now.
Some people will say, “Where was God when this massacre took place?” or “Why do bad things happen to good people?” What would you say to them in response?
I would say bad things can happen to anyone. We all have a choice to love God. He wants to get our attention sometimes. Our world has fallen hard and more than ever we need him. God gives free will and these people chose evil over food but guess what? Through that evil so much good has come from it!
What moment has been the hardest and how has your faith gotten you through it?
I think the hardest part are the what ifs? What if my brother died, what if that happens somewhere where I’m with my kids. I have had to pray about it and really let it go. It could have been worse for us but it wasn’t. Sometimes we are so anxious over things that will never happen so I put my trust and faith in God always and give my fears to him.
What has been Thomas and your family’s outlook on life and this world, since this has happened? Has this changed your perspective of how you look at good and evil?
Thomas bounced right back and I believe my family did too. We only have one life and our job is to love on others. Everyone, no matter the religion, race, or gender. There will always be people that want to hurt us but we can show them the love of Christ in those moments.
How do you keep a Christian perspective when the unthinkable happens?
Because I know Jesus is always there in every circumstance. He doesn’t want to see his children hurt. He hurts with us. God is love and I will continue living through life sharing his love to everyone.
What is the one take away you want people to remember after something like this?
I think that sometimes evil gets publicized too much. Look at all the good that has happened since. So many heroic people, so many amazing stories. God has orchestrated amazing things through this horrible disaster. Try to be the good the light in someone’s life. Being there for them and showing them you care. In that they will start asking how can you be like this in a time like this and that’s where you can share the love of Jesus Christ!