When suffering hits us personally, that is the common cry…WHY ME? WHAT’S THE REASON? For man without faith in a personal God, reactions to painful situations are as varied as pain itself. Without God’s guidance, our response to suffering is a futile attempt to find solutions to conditions that cannot be solved…today, more than ever, we need to know how to find strength to live life to its fullest.
(Words above penned by Billy Graham)
I watched a newsclip this morning of students who are returning to the Virginia Tech campus. There are options for them – pack up and end their school year, return to the classroom, grief counseling, prayer centers, etc. Several students were interviewed. Some were going home, they couldn’t face returning. Others were bravely trying to go on, attending classes and trying to avoid reliving the nightmarish events of last week. One student interviewed stood out to me. “What are you choosing to do?” the reporter asked. The student replied that he was choosing to return to the Bible, the only place to find real hope and a long-term solution to the horrific events.
I was thinking about the individuals around the campus who are providing support to the grieving students, faculty, family and friends. I was thinking of how hard it must be to find words, to find courage, to see into the future – understanding that time really is a friend to tragedy as (sometimes) the distance from the tragic events provide pathways to healing and coping. I was also thinking, “I wish I could do something…” I CAN – I can pray for these people as they struggle through their pain. I can pray their paths cross with people who effectively communicate God’s love to them – not through patent and glossy answers, but through their actions and through His words of comfort found, as the young student claimed, in the Bible.
It was weird to me to look at the news pages on my website favorites and to see, as is often the case, 1 week post tragedy, the top headlines no longer included Virginia Tech… stories about VT were buried a few lines below….soon it will be something we fight for to keep the memory alive for those who are personally affected. Interesting how this happens. I’m just as guilty of doing this as the next person, but I’m learning to be more sensitive about this, trying to remember anniversaries of tragedies with others so that I can reach out to them on those days, not to be morbid, but to remind them that it still matters and someone still cares.