Tuesday, April 17, 2007

virginia tech

If you're just getting on, please check out the post after this one; there are some things that are near and dear to my heart that I wanted to express, but obviously the recent news demands a response. This morning we sent an email out to all of our Vineyard folks regarding the Virginia Tech shootings. For those of you not on our email list, here's what I sent...

Dear friends,

Like you, I’m stunned by the events at Virginia Tech now being called the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The news seems to be heightened by the trickle of information and the reserved answers given to reporters. I can only imagine the pain of parents attempting to reach their children and the shock of discovering their child was one of the victims. With two college-age daughters, my heart reeled.

Once again we are brought face-to-face with evil. After enduring a lifetime of both spiritual power and persecution, the apostle John recognized the peculiarity of the believer’s position in this world and the tug-of-war behind the scenes in the world’s events: “We know that we belong to God even though the whole world is under the rule of the Evil One.” (1 John 5:19 Today’s English Version). I hope none of us should ever experience what happened yesterday, yet we know there is a cosmic conflict into which we’re all drawn.

But this is not the time to sermonize. Rather, please take a moment in your busy day to pray for the families, school leaders, law enforcement officers and caregivers involved in these events.

· For the families of the victims, that the comfort and compassion of the Father be experienced to a degree perhaps never felt before…and the walk toward forgiveness that must one day begin.

· For school leaders who will second-guess every decision made during what must have been complete chaos and an overload of opinions on what to do.

· For law enforcement officers who once again had to rush into chaotic situations and make split-second assessments, not to mention the sensory overload of what they witnessed.

· And for the caregivers there: doctors, nurses, counselors and pastors who provide physical, emotional and spiritual care. I’m sure they feel overwhelmed not only in their jobs but with their own grief and empathy.

Like you, I will continue to catch the news during breaks in my day. But I’m asking God to make me not just a shocked observer, but someone who will intercede for those who are so broken at this time. Please join me in prayer throughout this week.

My love and appreciation to you all,
Dave Workman and the staff of VCC

1 comment:

  1. Dave, thank you for the call to prayer.

    You know me, and typically I am not the kind of guy that believes that if you peek around every corner you will find demonic activity, but there is something foul definitely lashing out at the youth in America. This week we had a bomb threat at school. It was serious enough to involve several agencies—not just our local crisis response team. One of those guys let slip that there have been more of these in the region this week than you can count on both hands, but they are keeping things hushed to try to curb the “copy-cat” effect. The thing is. . .I am not too sure that this is the dynamic here at all. To flip a phrase, I think there is something out there trying to SCARE THE HELL INTO OUR KIDS.

    You know the history of the place I teach at and even the experience I was in a few years ago. We have had our share of chaos—in spades. In the past, while we always handle these situations seriously, the kids were actually pretty resilient and generally within hours some levity returns to the classroom after everything is over, usually when one of the kids cracks a joke about someone wanting to miss a math test. You might need to be a school employee or a kid to understand why this is important to recovery. What is really frightening is that this is happening with less and less frequency. Their spiritual and emotional rubber bands don’t have any more elasticity. What I am trying to say here is that there is now a compounding influence of stress and the residue of violent evil that is attacking the very core of what it is to be youngster. I am looking at kids that are walking around as if they are already in middle age. It needs to stop. We need to pray and pray hard.