Tuesday, April 17, 2007

VT Tragedy

As news unfolded yesterday about the tragedy at Virginia Tech I had a sick feeling in my stomach. What is most interesting is to listen to reporters and others as they analyze the situation. Someones worldview becomes very clear as they articulate "why" this shooting took place etc.

I heard someone comment yesterday morning that, "shootings like this have become common only in recent years" (my paraphrase). I disagreed. My mind immediately went back to February 1977. I was in the 7th grade at Hayes Jr. High School. It was a snowy morning. Our homeroom class was extended for about 2 hours. Eventually we heard the sound of a State Police helicopter landing on our campus. We would all learn later that one of our classmates had been shot dead by another student. Several teens witnessed the tragic event. That was probably the first time I had the sick feeling in my stomach. It was odd, but I realized that death had come to a 14 year old that day. This was difficult to process. By the way, the shooter at my Jr. High had never listened to gangster rap or played violent video games. Neither existed in 1977. So, why did he do what he did?

Years later I have a different level of understanding about the depravity of man. That is what has been magnified for us in the horrible events on the VT campus, although the media calls it by other names. It's not acceptable in our politically correct culture to call it "sin," but that's what it is. The man who sprayed bullets into classrooms yesterday was displaying his sinful nature. I heard one talking head say that the shooter wanted to "go out in a blaze of glory." Today in chapel Dr. Mohler, Southern Seminary President, rightly stated that sin robs God of his glory. Well put, given the aforementioned assertion about the desire of the shooter. Read an article by Mohler here.

It is at times like this that we pray for those touched by these terrible events. God is able to comfort and heal. He is able to bring peace and clarity. Moreover, he can get much glory during this time. Many will have questions. Will we have answers? This may be an opportunity for us, as believers, to shed the light of the gospel into a dark and tragic situation. How will you respond?

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