Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Thoughts on Virginia Tech Massacre

Yesterday a very distraught and crazed young man, armed with two weapons, gunned down the lives of more than 30 other young men and women on the campus of Virginia Tech. It was a carnage unlike any other ever committed in the United States on a school campus. This young man then made the choice to point the gun at himself and took his own life. The incident has left the world in shock and is now still trying to make sense out of a completely senseless act.

Our hearts grieve for the families that lost loved ones yesterday. How strange to me that I wrote yesterday before any of this happened about "sudden changes" in our lives. They will have to deal with questions that may never be answered fully for the rest of their lives. The one main question that kept rolling around in my head concerned the heart and soul of the young man that caused all this pain to others. What caused him to lose all hope and conjure up such a horrendous crime? What caused the mind to snap and for him to lose all reality? We can imagine some of the reasons: possible drug use? video games that became too real for him? was it something in his past that plagued him all his life and this last act was the culmination of all his pentup anger? Was it lack of parental love and guidance? Was it simply the pain of lost love that he was unable to accept? Was it self-condemnation for something he had done for which he could never forgive himself and this was his way of ultimate punishment? Or was it just plain unadulterated evil that overtook him and he did not have the strength to fight it?

The world will never know the true answer to the questions we ask. No one could ever know the inner turmoil inside this one mind that drove him to such a vicious act. In Psalm 55:4-5, David experienced maybe a part of what went on inside this young man's heart: "My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me."

The heartache I feel is the "what ifs" as I try to make sense of it:

What if this young man had been befriended by a Christian that would have presented the gospel to him, and he had come to know the love and acceptance of Jesus as Savior--might this all have been prevented?

What if this young man had parents that he loved and trusted and that he felt comfortable enough with to go to them confiding his deepest hurts and troubles---might this not have happened?

What if this young man had a church family and a pastor that he could have gone to for help for his troubled heart, might this have been stopped?

Where did society fail this young man? How did the Christian community fail this young man?

The questions are many, and the "what ifs" unanswerable, but the fact is, a terrible, unbelievable, unfathomable crime was committed. Young lives were snatched into eternity before their time, and our hearts mourn for them and their families. May God comfort them as only He can to bring about some sense to it all.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." II Cor. 1:3-4 "He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us as you help us by your prayers." (II Cor. 1:10-11)



Blogger Rich said...

Great post Mom. Our world is full of "What If..." tragedies.

8:47 PM  

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