In a what is violent reminder of the high school shootings of the 1990s, a single “Asian male” student locked himself into a room in Norris Hall along with about 30 or so others and began to open fire. Like the massacre at Columbine High School, where Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold opened fire on their classmates and teachers, students at Virginia Tech “played dead” in order to survive.
He was described as dressed “almost like a Boy Scout,” and was very “methodical” and “thorough” in his shootings. In the end, more than 30 people were killed, including the gunman. Sources say he killed himself. Surviving students then tried to get into another room and barricade the door, but he started shooting through the door. “Blood was everywhere,” one person said.
I really can’t imagine what it would be like to be locked into a room with a psychopathic killer. This is now the worst massacre on American soil. We as Americans, and as Christians should do all we can to support the families and students of Virginia Tech. Even if all we can do is pray for them, then pray for them.
This isn’t fiction; this isn’t an episode of CSI or Cold Case. This is reality, stripped and bare. I’m not going to try to opine whether or not society led us to this point. I do believe that we have a clear opportunity to check ourselves and see if there’s a way we can start getting more involved with each other.
A friend of mine has a son at Virginia Tech. She finally heard from him, and he’s okay, thank heavens. However, at least 30 families have lost someone they love. They’ve lost someone that was just there to learn, to party, to have some fun. Instead, they were gunned down in a horrifying act of self-centered rage. Countless more families must now deal with the trauma of knowing that something like this happened right in their back yard.
I’ve known people, even friends, who have been murdered. Their names are forever etched in my mind: Kevin Campbell, Michelle Pace, and Juan Julian Vasquez. Every one of those people I knew left behind families. Each of those family members said they leaned on their faith to survive and to find some sense of peace in a world that had left them in the middle of nothing but violence and turmoil.
Countless people ask the question of “what kind of God would allow this kind of thing to happen?” Truthfully, I don’t know. I’ll even add to that. What kind of God would allow storms to kill innocent people, or would allow war to wipe out millions?
In the end, there are three things that are eternal. According to Scripture, they are “faith, hope, and love.” This is clearly a time when faith is fleeting, hope is lost, and love is miles away. This is also a time for us as Christians to show them like never before. We don’t have to understand. We may never understand. But we can act on our faith, help give a glimmer of hope to the hopeless, and by showing love where hate once reigned.
Even when I’ve known local people who have been killed, the entire community rallied to support their families. I think… I believe… that this is what will happen at a very large scale for the families of Virginia Tech. The entire country will rally to support them, and to show their love.
My prayers and heart goes out to everyone affected by this nightmare. I pray that God will somehow bring peace to this storm, and bring people to help wipe the tears and be there to hear those cries of frustration and agony.
I thank God for His love and grace. Now it’s our turn to show it.