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A somber prayer for Virginia Tech in the darkest of hours

One word can describe my reaction to the shootings at Virginia Tech: heartbreak.

I pondered what horror must have been witnessed on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 16. My heart cries at every bullet fired and every life ended, for every breath of terror and tear of grief.

I feel frustration at the pain of humanity. Our Lord did not design us to ache, mourn or hurt each other.

According to multiple sources, Cho Seung-Hui was the gunman, a 23-year-old senior responsible for taking the lives of 33 people including his own life.

“How much pain did Seung-Hui feel that caused him to murder more than 30 people?” I ask myself. For those watching the media reports, this is not the only question that remains.

If the reports are factual, Cho was alone. According to CBS 3, his own roommate barely knew him. The media paints a portrait of a troubled young man who lashed out on paper prior to his actions.

This was a cry for someone to hear: how many children in America are crying out for someone to hear? The bullied, solitary and sad children in America continue to lash out in an effort to find their voice. In this case, 32 people paid with their lives, in addition to Seung Hui’s own suicide.

Unanswered questions remain regarding the choices of the administration to not lock down the campus after the first killings. Unsettled hearts for students, parents and a nation remain.

In a speech made by President Bush on Virginia Tech’s campus on April 17, he said, “As the Scripture tells us, ‘do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.'”

Likewise, our Lord offers comfort in heaven. Revelation 21:4 explains, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I would like to offer the following lyrics from the song “Praise You in This Storm” by Casting Crowns as a source of encouragement and peace in this time of national mourning. May these words serve as a reminder that in times of chaos and uncertainty, our Lord holds us in His hand.

“I was sure by now God You would have reached down / and wiped our tears away / stepped in and saved the day. / But once again, I say amen / that it’s still raining. / As the thunder rolls / I barely hear Your whisper through the rain, / ‘I’m with you’ / and as Your mercy falls / I raise my hands and praise / the God who gives and takes away. / And I’ll praise You in this storm / and I will lift my hands / that you are who you are / no matter where I am / and every tear I’ve cried / You hold in Your hand / You never left my side / and though my heart is torn / I will praise You in this storm.”

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