Monday, April 16, 2007

Mind boggling, gut wrenching, heart breaking ... grief

Today was a horrible day in the life of our country. Indeed, in the life of the entire planet. Thirty-three lives snuffed out on a university campus in a couple of hours time. Virginia Tech is a huge and highely respected campus with students from all over the world. As I write this there must be countless parents in the United States and many other places waiting ... hoping ... praying for a phone call letting them know that their kid is alright. Such agony does not register in my brain.

As we watch the news channels and the networks show the video footage over and over and over we would do well to remember a few things. Things that seem to slip our minds during the ordinary mundane days.

First, life is precious. It can be gone as quickly as the trigger of a hand gun can be pulled. Once it is gone it is not coming back. There are a lot of people that I am remembering tonight that I need to hug more often.

Second, evil is real. You cannot totally avoid it while residing on planet earth. It will find you and those you love. True, it will find each of us in varying degrees. But it will find you. On this day, while thirty-three lives were ended abruptly at the ugly end of a gun barrel, a little five year old girl was killed in Ferndale, Michigan. She was on her schools playground with about twenty students and her teacher when strong winds pushed the schools flag pole down, hitting and killing her. Her life ended in full sight of her kindergarten class. A little girl. A play ground. A flag pole. Three innocent items. Three items that make us smile and bring us laughter and joy. Mix them together and add a gust of wind and what do you get? Tragedy. The parents of that little girl are just as sad, just as shocked, as the parents of the young adults who were murdered in Virginia. It happens. You cannot predict it and you cannot stop it.

Third, God is the only one capable of making sense of it all. How can He do that? I have no idea. The wounds are too fresh. The blood is still wet. Not all of the next of kin has been notified. How can we even pretend to have an answer yet? How can we begin to guess how God will bring good out of tragedy? No way. Not yet.

You see, right now is not the time to preach. It is not the time to point fingers and blame names. Now is the time to cry. Mourn. Weep. Tonight there is no rhyme and no reason. There is only loss. Do not attempt to force God's answers before He reveals them. Do not declare His intentions before He declares them. Do not put words in God's mouth. You will wind up looking stupid. And you will hurt people.

Hug those you love. Call those you miss. Touch those who are nearest and dearest to you. REALLY touch them. Tonight is a night that we all need to be touched by another. A hand on the shoulder, a hug around the neck, the caress of a cheek. Those things speak volumes on nights like these.

Weeping comes for a night. But joy ... joy comes in the morning. It is still night. Let us weep. And most of all ... let us pray.


elizabethprice said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for your insight.

Anonymous said...

So very well said and so very true.