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Colorado Pastor: This is where God was in Aurora

Published: Friday, Aug. 3 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

Parishioners hold hands together during the service where the victims of Friday's mass shooting were remembered during a sermon by the church's Pastor Dr. Chris Hill, Sunday, July 22, 2012, in Aurora, Colo.

The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson, Associated Press

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Our take: In the wake of the mass theater shooting in Colorado, the media has focused on facts and motives, while individuals have turned their attention to questions about faith and God. On CNN's Belief blog, one Denver Pastor shares his testimony of God's awareness of human suffering and his desire to provide comfort.

I held her hand as she died.

Her family had come to a church where I was pastoring that morning, a routine Sunday. A thousand things would never have crossed their minds as they drove through Colorado Springs toward New Life Churchs enormous concrete worship center - including the prospect of being assaulted in their minivan by a young man with a high-powered rifle.

Later that day, we were all at a local hospital. The girl whose hand I held, Rachel, had already lost a sister at the scene. Her father was down the hall in critical condition and her mother was coming undone in the waiting room, but she didnt know any of it. Rachel lay unconscious for a couple of hours more in the ICU.

And then she died. Her family had come to church together that morning, and by nightfall they were shattered.

That was almost five years ago.

The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado shook me and the rest of the nation. Reading about the young and unsuspecting victims took me back to the dying girl in the ICU who had come to my church that day in 2007, in a an incident that left the two girls dead and injured several others. Back to the Columbine massacre a decade earlier that horrified the world and traumatized Colorado. And back to the aching questions that accompanied those previous incidents: Why did this happen? Where was God in all of it? How could a loving God allow this?

Read more about a pastor's testimony on CNN Belief blog.

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