An ambulance rushed people over to the hospital.
"This just in," an anchorman said, "a tragic development earlier tonight as an unknown gunman burst into a crowded restaurant and opened fire on several of the patrons before turning the gun on himself. Out of the 150 people in the restaurant at the time, at least 50 are confirmed dead, and 32 are critically injured. We will keep you post on further developments of this story as more facts become available. At this time, we encourage you to keep these families in your thoughts and prayers."
Monica turned off the television.
"Oh, Tess," Monica said, "this is terrible! Why do humans do such horrible things to each other?"
"I know, baby," Tess said, "just remember: God gave everyone free will. He allows evil acts to occur, but as to why, that's for Him alone to know. Humans choose to sin every day, sometimes little things, sometimes big nasty things like this, but it's all sin in God's eyes. He doesn't distinguish the liar any different than the mass-murderer. It's our job now to help comfort these people, and help them see the truth."
"Tess," Monica said, "another thing I've always wondered about: these days people seem so opposed to their Creator; how come whenever a devastating tragedy like this occurs the humans turn to prayer, when they wanted nothing to do with God before the life-changing experience?"
"Well, baby," Tess said, "many humans who aren't walking with the Lord think prayer is a means to make them feel better, and it isn't required on a daily basis, kind of like a last resort. They want to come to a God that will make them feel good, not a God that they have to surrender their lives to. They don't want to surrender. They want to live their lives, and when they feel overwhelmed, then they turn to Him. We have to encourage them to turn to Him in all circumstances."
Meanwhile, in a hospital room, Gloria is standing over Robert's bed while he recuperates.
"Will he be alright, Amos?" Gloria asked.
"Gloria, God wouldn't have assigned you to him without completing the work He wants you to do." Amos said, "He still has a message He wants you to give to this man. Robert will survive and then, when the time is right, you'll pass the message on."
"I just can't fathom this," Gloria said, "I've only been an angel for about 5-10 years now. How can humans be so cruel? All those poor men, women, children…."
"It's alright Gloria," Amos said, "many of them are with the Father in Heaven, now."
"And the others?" Gloria asked.
"Unfortunately, not everyone who was killed made the decision that allows them to get into God's kingdom. God knows everyone and when they'll die. Some people, unfortunately, die without receiving God's gift of amazing grace. It's sad, but the road to righteousness is a narrow path, and few ultimately find it." Amos said.
"That's why we have to tell people of God's love." Gloria said.
"No, Gloria," Amos said, "that's not our job. We, as angels, can never understand the Father's grace. Only the humans can. They have to put their trust in the Son, and they will have everlasting life. Only humans can tell their fellow man, though. We only bring the message God has planned for us to say. The humans who believe are in charge of planting the seed for the unbelievers, and God will water the seed, and the Holy Spirit will open their blind eyes to the truth."
"He who began a good work in you…" Gloria said.
"..will be faithful and just to complete it." Amos finished.
Robert started to wake up.
"Gloria?" he asked, groggily.
"I'm here, Robert," Gloria said, "you were badly wounded. You should rest."
"I think I get what you mean," Robert said, weakly, as he tried to sit up, "uggh, hurts like heck."
"You took a bullet," Gloria said, "the doctors were able to get it out, but you won't be coming out of here for a while."
"Gloria, that's impossible!" Robert said, "I have a report due next week and a business trip planned soon. I can't be in here forever."
"Oh, you won't be in here, forever, baby," Tess said, walking in. "Gloria's told me all about your tragic circumstance. Don't worry about your report or business trip. I'm giving you some much needed time off, Mr. Roth."
"But if I take I'm off I'll never be able to accomplish my work in time and—" Robert said.
"Mr. Roth," Tess said sternly, "you've been in a terrible tragedy and you survived. I'm giving you time off, so I strongly suggest that you take this time, not to fret over all the work you have to get done, but to consider that you survived this, and I would thank God for that, if I were you!"
"I didn't realize you were on the God-Squad too, Tess." Robert said, "Been hangin' around with Gloria a lot?"
"Gloria's a friend of mine, and God is my refuge and my strength." Tess said, "something tells me you're gonna need strength and a refuge pretty soon."
Meanwhile, at the dress store…
"Hello," Monica said, addressing Susan.
"Monica?" Susan asked, "Where have you been? I needed you here over an hour ago!"
"I'm sorry, Susan, but I was volunteering over at the hospital." Monica said.
"You volunteer at hospitals too?" Susan asked.
"Yes," Monica said, "I speak words of encouragement to those who need it."
"Well aren't you the saint?" Susan said, mockingly, "You really get around. Now let's get busy."
"Surely, you must have known why I was there all this time?" Monica asked.
"I have no idea, but time is wasting, and the name's Susan, by the way." Susan said.
"Haven't you heard about the terrible shooting massacre that happened yesterday just across the street?" Monica asked in disbelief, "it's been all over the news! You must've heard about it by now, no doubt seen it?"
"Monica, I closed up shop early last night, remember?" Susan said, "I went out for my weekly spa appointment."
"Regardless, that doesn't change the fact that something abominable happened last night," Monica said, "Couldn't you at least show a little respect for the lives lost?"
"Monica, in this world, bad things happen every day," Susan said, "we can't do anything to change events, we just have to move on."
"Haven't you heard the saying, 'evil thrives when good men (or women) do nothing'?" Monica asked.
"Monica, don't preach to me," Susan said, "I've been doing something for years. I've seen more bloodshed than you can imagine, but you know what I discovered?"
Monica shakes her head.
"Evil thrives anyway," Susan said, "it makes no difference what anyone does."
"Sure it does," Monica said, "if you just have enough faith and surround yourself with the right people, then—"
"Monica, if you want to keep your job here, I strongly suggest you zip your lip and drop this conversation, clear?" Susan snapped.
Monica nodded, "Yes ma'am."
There was a knock on the door.
Two police officers stood in the doorway.
"Can I help you, officers?" Susan asked.
"Ma'am, we need you to tell us, did you witness what happened at the bar across the street yesterday?" one officer asked.
"No," she said, "I closed up my shop early. I was out all night."
"Are you familiar with the suspect in question, a Mr. Jeremy Phillips?" the other officer asked.
"Yes," she nodded.
"We need you to come with us ma'am." the one officer said, as she was taken away.
"Why?" Monica asked, "What's wrong?"
"This woman could possibly know the shooter of that restaurant," the other officer said.
"What?" Monica asked in surprised, "Sue, I thought you were out all night and didn't know about it."
"I was," Susan said, "But the fact of the matter is…Jeremy Phillips…is my son."
Monica was shocked to learn this as the officers took her away.