Back when I was serving in YFC High School Based, our program head, Kuya Noli, told us the story of why YFC HS Based is very important. Kuya Noli often related to us the story of the Columbine High School Shooting, where after the event, a dad of one of the victims was present at some sort of conference about it discussing why it happened, and he spoke up: Because God has been taken out of the schools.
Hearing about the Virginia Tech Massacre reminded me of Columbine, and reading about what happened, seeing news about it brings tears to my eyes. There are many possible reasons why this happened; people could debate over the killer’s background, his attitudes and whatnot, but I think — and I know some of you might not agree with me — that the reason this happened is a God thing. Or lack of it. Not that God wasn’t there or He let this happen because He wasn’t looking or because He wants to punish people because no one is noticing Him, so He took the side of the killer in this event…rather, it was the lack of actually living out God’s love.
I am not saying this to judge anyone, and nor to blame anyone that “They should have done this,” so and so. The killer may have been really mentally ill, really angry, or maybe, he just “lost the last of his light.” Let me once again quote a Joan of Arcadia quote I posted before, which was also an episode about an “almost” school shooting:
Observation is a more powerful force than you could possibly reckon: the invisible, the overlooked, and the unobserved are those that are most in danger of reaching the end of the spectrum. They lose the last of their light. From there, anything can happen.
News says he was a loner, that he had no friends. I don’t know why and maybe he chose to be that way. Maybe people did try to reach out to him, but he didn’t respond to their warmth. Maybe he pushed them away, or maybe people didn’t really care about this one person. It could be anything. The thing is, he lost his light, and true enough, something happened.
Like I said, I’m not pointing fingers at anyone; I just got thinking. We don’t know why this happened, and we certainly don’t know why God let this happen. I know it’s not easy, and I know I will never be able to comprehend how much it must hurt for all the people who lost their loved ones in this massacre. I know most people are now asking why. In the same way, last weekend, I faced an accident of someone I am not close to but I am sort of assigned to “take care of”. And in that moment, I found myself crying and asking Him why He let that happen right after the ILC. Why then, why to him, why me? Why can’t it be when I am not there? A friend told me not to ask why, because I will never get the answer until I get there to where God is, but to ask what. What can I do now? What can we do now, after all these happened?
Pray is one thing. We can pray for all the people who suffer loss, and also for all the lives affected by this. We can pray for the schools, we can pray for whoever else may be losing their light. But let’s take it one step further: let’s try to see those who are in the farther end of the spectrum. Let’s see people who feel unseen. Let’s not just say hi to them in passing, but actually talk to them. Listen to them. Befriend them. They don’t have to be a part of your group, you don’t have to hang out with them 24/7, but be a friend. Show you care. And most of all, love. In those simple gestures, by just being “present” in other’s live, we will not only alter the life of that person we befriend, but also the lives of many others who may be affected once this person loses his light.
Refine Me will be joining the One Day Blog Silence on April 30, 2007, as a tribute the victims of this tragedy.
Father, we will never know why all these happened until we join You, but I ask for Your grace to be poured upon all the grieving hearts — to all family members, relatives and friends who lost their loved ones in this tragedy. Comfort them in this difficult time, Lord. Carry them in Your arms, keep them close to You. Still their hearts and souls Lord God, that they may see You in the midst of all the pain and trust that You know. May You give us the strength to notice the people at the end of the spectrum, that we may be able to truly reach out to them that they may feel loved and see You in us. Amen.
We don’t want to admit it, but the truth is this: we are really like this disturbed kid who shot up his college campus in type, even if it is not in degree.