Marie Isom was in Theater 9 in Aurora, Colo., when he shooting began. "I'm not a big movie-goer," she wrote on her blog, A Miniature Clay Pot. "I prefer to watch movies in the comfort of our own home…but parents sometimes make sacrifices for their kiddos and I decided I would take my 14-year-old and 16-year-old daughters who were chomping at the bit to see this eagerly anticipated third movie in the Batman Trilogy. Twice I had the opportunity to back out, and twice I was quite tempted; but something in me said, 'Just go with your girls.' I did."
Marie said she sat fidgeting in her seat, some 40 or 50 feet away from the man with the gun, who has been identified by police as 24-year-old James Holmes.
"It's still a bit surreal, but I do know that when the seemingly endless shooting started, as my girls were struggling from whatever gas or chemical had been released, and we figured out what was happening, we hit the floor." Marie threw herself on top of her 14-year-old, who was on the end of the row, straight up the aisle from the shooter, Marie wrote on her blog.
"In that moment, as the rapid-fire shots continued, I truly thought I was going to die. And I realized that I was ready. I have put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ as the redeemer of my soul, and there wasn't the slightest doubt that I would be received into heaven, not because of any good thing that I have done but because of His merciful nature and the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ."
Marie continued: "Still, as I lay over my daughter, I began praying out loud. I don't even remember what I prayed, but I don't imagine it really matters. I'm sure it was for protection and peace. It drew me closer into the presence of God. When there was a pause in the shooting, people began to clamor for the exits. The girls and I jumped up and joined the masses. We had to step over a lifeless body, not knowing where the shooter was. We raced to our car and I dumped my purse, frantically searching for keys, looking all around, prepared to hit the ground. I yelled at Michelle to call Matthew and find out if he had made it out of the theater next door. She did. He did. We booked on out of there."
"Why would you think such a tragedy would make me question the goodness of God?" she asked.
"If anything, both of my girls said it made Him a much more real presence to them; the youngest shared this verse: 'Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your feet from being caught.'"
Marie said: "He is not the cause of evil, but He is the one who can bring comfort and peace in the midst of evil. It's been amazing to see the outpouring of love from so many people after this unthinkable act. Yes, there was one evil act, but it is being covered by thousands, possibly millions of acts of kindness."
(Click here to read a Crosswalk article featuring similar accounts.)