Yesterday my phone rang and on the other end was my 20-year-old college student Jamie. "Dad, have you heard the news about all of those shootings?" At that point, I had not heard or seen the news. When I finally stood in front of a television watching a live feed from Blackburg, West Virgina, it was worse than I imagined.
33 dead. Oh my goodness!
Before Monday, the deadliest shooting had taken place in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, when a man drove his pickup truck into a cafeteria and shot 23 people to death before killing himself. (Killeen is about an hour from where I live.) Just two months ago, I read an account of one of those who had also been shot but managed to survive. (This eyewitness account was part of a thesis written by a friend and member of our church who was finishing her Master’s degree in journalism at Baylor University.)
Many parents can resonate with President Bush’s remarks yesterday afternoon when he said,
"…Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary and learning. When that
sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and
every American community." That is so true. How many parents thought about their own children yesterday? How many parents yesterday thought about their children on university campuses? I certainly did.
This is the news today. For days to come this day will be discussed. The media will attempt to tell the story of the event. Safety and response measures will be debated. Yet, for many families, it will be news that will never be forgotten. Let us pray for all who are brokenhearted, for all of those who now have lost a child.
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).