Inquiring Minds: Trying to make sense of a generation’s worth of tragedies

Over the past ten years, a generation of youth in the United States has witnessed tragedies of enormous proportions. The Virginia Tech shooting that took the lives of 33 students and faculty was the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history.

We have not only been taught about the history of wars and violence, but we have also experienced it in our generation. In the classroom, on the job and at home, we have watched live coverage of every tragedy unfold. These events have left the world wondering: where is God?

With the frequency of horrific events in the recent past, it would seem like this is a time when tragedies are more prone to happen. This is a generation that has become used to bad news. It has come to expect to see footage of police scenes and death tolls on the nightly news.

But how many people really cried when they heard the news of 33 people losing their lives in a school shooting? Have we become desensitized to the realities of evil? If you were not immediately involved with the shootings or knew someone involved, the news probably came with little severity.

So long as we are not the victims, the reality of tragic situations and their ability to affect our lives are not as pressing.

If we cannot feel the heat of the situation, the news is not as real to us. We feel safer seeing it as only a story, something abstract that can never happen to us.

Still, we are faced with questions. It is difficult to respond to tragedies and to make sense of the evil that takes place in this world. Where is God? Should we ever really feel safe when what happens to our neighbors is just as likely to happen to us?

Each day, we are forced to accept the mindset that we are living with risk and that we must not be afraid of it. Each of us knows that we cannot live in fear and that we cannot let knowing what might happen stop us from living.

As spoken by Biblical studies professor Kent Sparks to his Biblical hermeneutics class the day after the Virginia Tech shootings, “The only place we’re safe is in the hands of God.”

Embracing the reality of evil and suffering around us, we must put our best foot forward each day with God as our peace and our strength.

Inquiring Minds is the collective opinion of the editorial staff and not necessarily representative of the entire staff. It was written this issue by sports editor Alex Long and A&E editor Kate Savo.

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