I wanted to express how grateful I am for all of you. God has truly blessed me with this ministry, and I am very excited about having a blog. As I continue to learn more about blogging, hopefully, you will see improvements at the site.
The following entry is an attempt to share some “LIGHT” in the face of the darkness that has surrounded the tragedy that occurred at VA Tech. God will indeed bring good from bad situations–God is always GOOD. We have to open our eyes to what the Creator of the Universe wants to teach us.
It’s Time To Gather Stones – Forgive Even When It Seems Impossible
Genesis 31:44-46–(The Message)
”So let’s settle things between us, make a covenant-God will be the witness between us.” Jacob took a stone and set it upright as a pillar. Jacob called his family around, “Get stones!” They gathered stones and heaped them up and then ate there beside the pile of stones.
Ephesians 4:32–(The Message)
Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
One would think that I am a person who keeps up with the news/current events due to my highly communicative personality. However, I rarely watch television or read the newspaper. The typical passage of news comes to me via word of mouth.
I recall the exact time and place I was when I heard about the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. I was in the library of Hewitt-Trussville High School, my then senior year.
Sixteen hours after my son Connor was born, I was resting in my hospital room when one of the nurses informed me of the Oklahoma City Bombing (April 19, 1995)….. a sweet moment of joy on the arrival of my new baby boy interrupted by evil — absorbing grief and shock of the news of children who had died in the daycare center of the Federal Building inalong with many other innocent lives taken without warning on that dark day – as I held in my arms, new precious life.
I recall my brother’s words as I walked into the office on September 11, 2001. His expression caused immediate bewilderment as I registered the news that a commercial plane crashed into the…..moments later to discover it was a terrorist attack after yet a second plane entered the towers.
Like another bad dream–the unthinkable hitsTech (echos of Columbine) – a horrific massacre – the worst shooting in modern United States history. I can only imagine the hearts of the parents of the children whose lives were claimed that day…..or of the wife and children of the Holocaust Survivor who survived the Holocaust in order to fulfill his final mission, ironically on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yes, this day a professor became a hero when he blocked the doorway to save the lives of approximately 15 students….the day Cho mercilessly slaughtered 32 people, and then took his own life.
As only one of the aforementioned tragedies was an accident, it’s disturbing to realize the “birth pains” of a world in such chaos. If you are reading this, you are a survivor, not by your own choice, but by Divine Choice. We are STILL alive on this earth for a reason. We can brew with anger regarding these devastating events, or we can choose to become better rather than bitter – to do what it is that we were called to do — share the ONE true HOPE, the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even though our world is falling, due to the sin that has been manifested through such events, GREATER IS HE WITHIN US than the one who is in the world.
It’s ok to be angry–even Jesus experienced anger….but what we do with that anger is what makes the difference.
The reason for my writing today has nothing to do with how many historical tragedies of my life would be noted. The reason for this writing can be found on Page 7C on Friday of The“Little Anger Expressed for Tech Gunman.” I wasn’t prepared for what I read. After a week of devastating details of the evil and pain regarding the Tech shootings, it’s only natural to expect additional somber media. The negative media and horror are the reasons that this is the first time I have written on this subject.
My purpose today is to communicate the message of forgiveness……………….
A student organization atTech placed stone memorials in a semicircle on the main campus lawn in honor of the victims of the terrible day of lost lives. A senior at the school, Katelynn L. Johnson, placed a 33rd stone amongst the others for Cho. She declared that regardless of what problems Cho had, he was still considered a fellow student. She claimed that his life had value no matter what he did. The school lost 33 people. Another in agreement stated, ‘Forgiveness is part of being freed from anger.'(Kelly White-Blacksburg resident).
As the students, faculty, and people of Blacksburg, along with many others struggle to make sense out of this tragic event……isn’t it a miracle that there is even a thread hope marked in the spirit of forgiveness? To me…..that’s remarkable. To me….that’s JESUS example. It sure makes petty grudges over menial things embarrassing to admit…..it clarifies to me loud and clear that the Holy Spirit is present at the campus ofTech.
The stages of grief are puzzling, so it’s possible that so many are still in shock and don’t know how to process the memories of that day. But, it’s refreshing to recognize in the midst of such trauma that there are those who comprehend that taking the high road is the best road to take, although the road is narrow.
According to Tim Jackson’s When Forgiveness Seems Impossible, the term forgiveness is defined as “the loving, voluntary cancellation of a debt.”
According to a message my pastor delivered in February of 2004-FORGIVENESS is not minimizing the offense……FORGIVENESS is not instant restoration of trust…… FORGIVENESS is not resuming a relationship without changes. Most of these steps should apply to our day to day lives with others who are still in our life. But, because Cho committed suicide – some say that ‘retribution was kind of taken out of the situation.’ So we must channel TRUST in the Lord Who sees the big picture.
When forgiveness seems impossible, we must remember that we ALL fall short. God doesn’t measure sin; He will not tolerate sin of any form. We also need to abandon our intentions to get even….that’s when we must apply His GRACE! My friends, it’s time to gather stones.
Pray for the families and loved ones of all those touched by thetragedy. Throw another prayer in there specifically for Cho’s family….they deserve compassion too. Our Lord loves all of us…..that’s every single one of us.
God bless you all!