Taylor Benge entered the Las Vegas concert as an agnostic, but left as a believer in God
To many, Oct. 1st is the day a man known as Stephen Craig Paddock unloaded gunfire into a crowd attending the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival for country music. Paddock, from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel, killed a confirmed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others. Paddock killed himself when police officials arrived into his hotel room.
I cannot even imagine the thought process of those attending the country music festival, as many had to flee for their lives and continuously take cover when they heard gunfire. That unimaginable fear is one I pray I never have to experience for myself.
But Taylor Benge, a witness during the shooting, had a slightly different experience. As the gunman shot into the crowd, Benge along with his sister took cover to avoid the bullets. Benge credits his sister for keeping him safe.
“My sister being as noble as she, she actually threw herself on top of me and was saying, ‘I love you, Taylor. I love you.’ And I’ll never forget that,” Benge said in an interview with CNN.
When we hear of evil acts like this recent shooting, it becomes very easy for our hearts to darken, but it’s stories like this that lift us up. Hearing how friends, family and even strangers helped and provided for each other during the event is priceless.
Benge explained that he did initially think the gunfire came from Mandalay Bay, but wherever he went there were pools of blood. “You just gotta take it to God at that point and hope that you make it,” Benge said in the interview.
This is where hope is found in all of this. Some may ask where was God during the shooting, but Benge and I both believe that He was there with the victims.
“I was agnostic going into that concert. I’m a firm believer in God now ’cause there’s no way that… all that happened, and that I made it and was blessed enough to still be here alive talking to you today,” Benge said.
On Oct. 1st, Stephen Craig Paddock died, but on that same day, Taylor Benge came to life and found God. To me, that is something beautiful that has come out of this evil.
Watch Taylor Benge in Las Vegas on CNN: