By the time I’m writing this, the whole world knows about Virginia Tech and the carnage that happened there yesterday. So many lost and broken lives. So many families plunged into heartache. The shooter, a student, has been identified, but trying to understand the why will take much longer, and even when the why is proposed, it will only be a best guess, for the one person who knew why took his own life at the end.
At times like this — and there have been far too many "times like this" in recent memory — I find it hard to write. I find myself searching for some sort of answer, something that will make sense of the insanity. Murder and mayhem have been the lot of humans since Cain killed Abel, but I long for peace in our time. I cry out, "Come, Lord Jesus!"
Searching for answers is part of being a novelist. We have a great need to understand the world around us, to understand the people who enter into and depart from our lives. We long to share the truths we have found through the pages of our stories. Sometimes the writing itself is how we discover the truth.
But for now, I grieve. I grieve that my grandchildren cannot feel safe in their schools. I grieve that so many young people — raised on the violence that is common in music, video games, and movies, raised in a society that too often disparages moral absolutes — think the only answer is to take their own lives, after first taking as many other lives as they possibly can.
God, have mercy on this nation. May those who are called by Your name humble themselves and pray, and may You heal this land. Amen.
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