It’s kinda weird living on the other side of the world as what went down at Virgina Tech this week probably conusmes the western world. Really being here i don’t think of it, but as i open my web browser and look at facebook or whatnot it dominates the headlines.
Really to write about anything else seems trite. Something funny- seems inapporpriate, and something sad- seems self-absorbed.
Truth to be told, when my roommate told me what happened, i didn’t have much reaction. “20 people. wow. Is that a lot?” Sad i suppose, but i didn’t give it much thought.
To me, VT is represented by football, and Michael & Marcus Vick- and i was not huge fans. This winter however, i met Justin and Jacob and Emily- and they’re pretty cool folks i’d say. i think i could be a Hokie fan- i don’t know what a hokie is, but it sounds kinda cool.
As the number of victims rose to 33 and the comparison to Columbine was made known, the significance of this event rose in my mind. Truly this was a tragic day.
i have heard people compare this 9-11 or Columbine and say “It will be a day we never forget.” But even as i sit here and write this, i have trouble remembering if i was at Purdue or Michigan when Columbine happened. Surely, i never thought i’d forget that.
It struck me that while i was at Purdue there was a shooting in Wiley. We saw it on the news as it happened, but no one knew what was going on. i remember it being afternoon now, maybe 4:30. But most of the details are fuzzy. i believe an RA died, he was engaged and was good friends with my Bible study leader. i think he may have even gone to the same church as i did. Reality is, i don’t remember anymore. Will we remember?
i talked with my mom the next day and she mentioned the shooter was Asian. i asked why does that matter. The next day it came up again. And not only was he Korean, he was an international student. We theorize that this will become a big deal. The fact that he wasn’t white, he wasn’t American- people will notice this.
We want someone or something to blame. And then we’ll try to figure out why this happened. The media will get a lot of the blame, or maybe musicians or movies; Many will just blame the parents or the school. Zach writes an interesting piece about this. To which my comment is there is no simple answer, there were likely a number of variables. But the surest thing is this happened because we live in a fallen world.
We shouldn’t be surprised by such action. Shocked and appalled yes, but surprised: no.
Sin is all around us. And the capability of sin is great.
Some may go to some measures to make reformation- as if that will change everything. i think i could help… but maybe not. See, programs or lack of prayer isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of Jesus. Only Jesus can change people. Only Jesus can change a fallen world. But He can’t be programmed.
We gather and pray. And we pray that God would use this for His glory. But that to me even feels trite. It almost feels like we’re exploiting the situation. And, well, we don’t need to ask God to use this for His glory- He will! He is! He was never out of control here, never surprised. (of course, we still pray and we still pray for His glory).
There were real people here who were killed. Friends, sons, daughters, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers. Some who knew the shooter. Some who know those who were the friends or family. And these people need love and support and care and prayer.
My reality is, i really don’t know the extent of this tragedy. For me, it’s not so much because i’m not in America- it’s b/c i don’t know the people… it’s because i can’t see it. When my sister had cancer, it didn’t bother me. i couldn’t see the cancer or what it was going to do to her. When Allison got into an accident that has now left her paralyzed, i knew it was bad, but it didn’t hit me until i saw & heard Joni Erikson Tada speak, and not fully until i saw Allison herself.
Maybe, you’re like me. We watch movies that speak of blood diaomnds or dictators or wars everywhere, but then we go off and do something else.
There are tragedies all around us. Be it Virigina Tech or Christians being murdered in Turkey or right next to you. We live in a fallen world, where people need Jesus.
Sooner or later, life will go back to normal. And a normal life is good. It’s good to laugh and have fun and to be sad and relate to one another. But what is the normal life we live?