**This is a re-post of some thoughts I shared back in 2007, following the campus shooting at Virginia Tech University. In light of today’s tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, I hope these words will encourage and buoy grieving hearts.
April 22, 2007
By 11:00am on Monday, 33 hearts stopped beating at Virginia Tech. But the number of those affected is much greater than 33. It is multiplied among the injured survivors and uninjured witnesses. And it is exponentially multiplied among the parents and friends and families of those who died. And beyond this, others are affected—a shocked and grieving kinship is felt among college students everywhere; so aware that it could have easily been their school. It is natural to hurt and to grieve and to fear. It is natural to shake your head at the unimaginable scene. I picture a room where cell phones keep ringing—parents trying to reach their sons and daughters who will not answer…because they cannot answer. Yet this tragedy stirs something of hope in me. It is a deep and mature hope—grown out of knowing God. We’ve seen the pictures and the videos and heard the stories of this nightmare. Let’s turn our attention to hope in God—something just as real and compelling.
- Hope in the nearness of God. “TheLord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) God is a tender-hearted Father. And he is right in the thick of the weeping and brokenness. He is active. He is responding and defending and healing and comforting right now.