Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tragedy Strikes NIU

My heart aches on this Valentines Day, finding it hard to imagine how one could be happy on this cold, frigid, bloody day.

There was another shooting at another American University today. Today's shooting took place only about 70 miles away from here, on the campus of Northern Illinois University. 21 people were shot in a classroom, where a former Graduate student opened fire in a lecture hall full of geology students with a shotgun and two handguns. After injuring 16 of those victims and killing 5, he then shot himself.

I'm speechless and heartbroken and frustrated with the media. People need time to mourn and try to make sense of this senseless situation. Yet the media is plastered with photos and video feed of events immediately following the shooting, including pictures of victims before they received care (one of a stuent shot in the leg, surrounded by students who had carried him to safety in another building) or on stretchers, covered in blood, as they're put into an ambulance- with a clear site of the person's face. Is this really "just a news story" to them?

Today's shooter was a Sociology Grad student NIU last spring. Sociology. Whenever a tragedy like this one strikes, I always wonder what kind of pain they must have first experienced. What would drive them to that point? Today, I feel like this is an even deeper question, as he was s Sociology student. Sociology. The study of people and groups. The study of human interactions with one another... What might his educated mind- that probably understood what this would do to people before, after and during the event- have been thinking?

Its been a long couple of weeks. I've had a long week. Blessed, but long. But nothing compared to these poor folks who are hurting so much tonight. So I do the only thing I know how to do. Pray. Then listen. Then Pray. and Pray some more. I hope you will join me. As we pray together, let us remember one thing that is hard to remember in these moments: God Loves That Guy. I hope we can too.

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