Monday, April 16, 2007

Tragedy At Virginia Tech

I’m commenting early on the shooting at Virginia Tech today before all the facts are known. In short, a shooter entered a lecture hall on the Tech campus and shot and killed over 30 students. An earlier shooting and murder of two people had taken place on the other side of campus. While the first incident was being investigated the second incident took place.

First, let me say that my prayers are with all of the victim’s families and fellow students. God can bring grace and comfort to our lives while we’re in the most painful life situations. I’m also prayerful for university administrators who had difficult decisions to make and may have made mistakes that resulted in more life being lost.

Second, I’m reminded today how truly fragile life is. On some level most of us know that disease or accidents or tragedy can befall us quickly and unexpectedly. Today’s shooting which is the worst mass murder in American history by an individual painfully makes that clear. Bad things don’t just happen to other people. Sometimes they happen to us or to people we love. It behooves us to live life well, thoroughly and lovingly connected to God and to others. That is life’s greatest priorities and we dare not put it off to another day that may never come.

Third, evil is alive and well. Again, most of the facts have not been discovered at the time of this writing. Nevertheless, taking a gun and pulling the trigger and blasting innocent people, no matter the state of one’s mind, is evil. And, I don’t mean to bring up the topic of evil with finger pointing. There is evil in me. There is evil in you. The Christian faith is about following Christ in such a way that He has greater opportunity to transform and deliver us of the evil within. I must regularly conduct a heart check to assess, “Am I more loving and less punitive or vengeful today than this time last year?”

Fourth, I predict that something of God’s goodness and greatness will be seen over the next few days, as coverage of this story will be extensive. Look for and listen to the stories of God’s grace, guidance, protection and provision. As you see and hear these things I’d love to hear from you in the comment section.

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