Posted by: alliehope | February 15, 2008

Tragedy in DeKalb

I sit here, stunned into silence at the evening news: 19 wounded, five (including the gunman, of a self-inflicted wound) dead in the aftermath of a shooting at Northern Illinois University, about an hour or so outside of Chicago. I am brought to tears at the senselessness of all this–all the questions that need answers, and the answers that somehow come up short in illuminating the darkness of the world in which we live.

Now is not the time to pontificate about gun control issues, mental health on college campuses, all the issues that seem to linger on the periphery of our lives otherwise, but now suddenly stand in the icy glare of the media spotlight. It is simply a time to mourn the victims, and the gunman as well. It is a time to pray, to reflect, to sit quietly in the face of yet another example of the horrendous violence that afflicts our nation, and our neighborhoods. It is a time to surround the Northern Illinois University community with our compassion, love and sympathy. To do less would be to betray ourselves as less than fully human, our hearts as less than loving.

And so I offer my own prayer for this time of tragedy:

Heavenly Father, as tears flow and words struggle to form themselves, I pray Your grace and mercy be poured out on the Northern Illinois University campus and community. I pray that You welcome the victims home into Your embrace, and that Your healing comes to the survivors and their families. I pray Your mercy on the gunman as well–not that he may be judged, but rather, forgiven and loved, for surely, there must be ones to mourn him as well. I pray that Your love bathes that horrendous situation, and brings the healing and hope that the campus and community desperately need right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Blogger’s note: I wrote this yesterday, so the statistics will be out of date. However, I need to post it since there are things in it I feel need to be said.

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