A Dark Day in Blacksburg

storm_clouds3.jpgYesterday 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).

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2 thoughts on “A Dark Day in Blacksburg

  1. I spent 8 years as a volunteer Police Chaplain in Melbourne. During my time there we had a shooter enter two shopping center parking lots and shoot and kill 7 people including two police officers.

    I remember that day so vividly because I was getting ready to play a church softball game when one of watch commanders screeched up to the field in his crusier and ask me to come with him. My wife was with me and it about scared her and me to death. At that point the police thought there were several shooters loose on the streets.

    It turns out it was an older man who was somewhat “mental” who did the shootings with a high powered rifle. I saw him a few weeks later in the isolation unit at our county jail. I remember the sadness that I felt for all those families who lose their loved ones.

    And now this tragedy has multiplied the sadness many times over. I can only imagine how many thousands of people are directly linked to those who were killed and wounded.

    May God work his power and love to help all of these people and us!


  2. Those people, each one, are in need of constant encouragement and support because of one hrrible day. Let is pray for them and not lose heart.
    Not to be picky, but the college is in Blacksburg, Virginia.