Monday, April 16, 2007

Blacksburg, West Virginia

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the horrific news on the massacre at Val Tech University in Blacksburg, WV. When I turned on the news this a.m., the death toll was at two, and the gunman hadn't been located.

The huge numbers of dead: 31 dead (counting the gunman), and 29 wounded is almost unimaginable. One wonders if there wasn't another gunman involved. How could one man shoot up a dormitory with that many casualties? And then return to another building two hours later to wreak havoc and death there as well? Hopefully, the investigators will be able to piece together what really happened this morning.

To say that our prayers are with these families who've lost their sons and daughters today, sounds like a cliche. We can't possibly know their suffering, or the immense grief which is sure to follow. But, I believe that prayer does help, even though we don't know the people involved. Prayer is something that's often spoken of lightly, when Eastern meditation, and other forms of "thought" imagery or activity seem more politically correct in this society.

Prayer is a way of focussing on a subject, such as the law enforcement officials involved, the teachers, the surviving students, the families, and the EMS/doctors/nurses who were all involved in today's tragedy. It's a way of upholding these individuals before God, asking Him to comfort them, bring about a thorough investigation, and to be with the families in the days to come.

Whether you believe in "God" as espoused by Christian churches, or a "Higher Power", our thoughts and prayers must be poured out to bring healing in the wake of this tragedy.

To all of my American friends and relatives, please know that Canada shares in your sorrow - in this kind of terrible event, we all share our humanity rather than nationhood. Personally, I feel such sorrow and horror that such a thing can happen, that it's almost overwhelming to think about. What else can we do, except pray?

The "psychopaths" and xenophobic "strangers" we writers dream up in our novels, have nothing on real life. When something like this happens, we can't help but think about what we write, why we write it, and how we affect other's thinking.

Do unbelievable tragedies such as this affect your writing? I know it does mine.

1 comment:

Toni Anderson said...

Just terrible. It eats me up inside every time one of these shootings happen. So terribly sad.