It’s been a very grim weekend for the music community.
Like many others all over the world, I’m still reeling in shock over the senseless murder of Christina Grimmie, the 22-year-old American YouTube singing sensation and finalist of The Voice, Season 6. On Friday evening, Grimmie was shot, three times by a man (whom police have identified as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl, possibly a deranged fan) during her autograph signing session following her performance with pop rock band, Before You Exit, in Orlando, Florida, USA. She died of her injuries shortly after.
While I wouldn’t consider myself an avid fan, news about her death stunned and saddened me. Perhaps it was because I felt like I had somewhat known her, having watched and listened to early videos of her on YouTube singing soulfully while playing on her keyboard and later on, seeing her grow and excel on Season 6 of The Voice. I remember being in awe of the fact that she was so young (then 19) and so talented. And for a period after the show, I would play her performances of Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up on Us” and Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” on repeat because they were just so good.
Although I hadn’t been keeping up with her latest activities, Grimmie was one of those singers I would never forget—to me, hers was one of the best voices I’ve heard on The Voice (and I’ve watched nine seasons of it, save for the first.) So like many others, I’m angry, confused, and crushed that this happened to her, and at such a tender age.
And like many others, I’ve spent the past two days watching her old YouTube videos and reading news updates about the horrific attack, hoping to find answers to the questions that have been plaguing me. Why did God allow this to happen to her, especially to someone that young? What was her killer’s motive? Why wasn’t security at the performance venue tighter?
Sadly, I didn’t find the answers I was looking for. Instead, I found out other things, like the fact that she was “a friend to everyone”, she loved the Lord and her family, and that in 2013, she had put up this tweet (that many of her fans have been sharing anew): “Sometimes God allows terrible things to happen in your life and you don’t know why. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trusting Him.”
Although I’m sure she had no idea what she had penned three years ago would have such a profound meaning today, it was, in a way, comforting and needful to hear those words especially in a time like this—because it’s absolutely true.
At the end of the day, we may never know the reason why God allows terrible and tragic things to happen in our life or in the lives of others. But we can trust Him, because He’s been through the same gut-wrenching pain of losing a loved one and the injustice of it all when His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for us. We can trust Him, because although bad things happen and death separates us, we will rise again and be reunited, because Jesus rose from the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:14). We can trust Him, because someday, He will make things right again (Psalm 135:14; Revelation 21:4).
Thank you, Christina, for that amazing reminder. Although we will miss you and your incredible voice dearly, may we all draw comfort in the fact that you’re in a better place. And as we spend the days ahead celebrating your life and grieving over your death, may we be reminded above all, to turn to God and trust in Him always.