Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lauren McCain, and other VT thoughts

People ask me about blogging, and the time I take to do it, and sometimes why I do it. Sometimes its fun (hence, Dave's First Ever Random Bracket), sometimes its informational, sometimes its political... and sometimes, its just a release. Sometimes its just... thoughts.

It's truly a small world. Well, physically, its quite a large world... but in terms of people, anyone who knows me personally is one person away from knowing Brooke Smith, from "The Bachelor". And she knows a ton of people. Anyone who knows me personally is 2-3 people away from everyone that Rick & Bubba know. And I'm sure out of all the people I know, I'm less than 3 people away from knowing someone at Virginia Tech.

How do you respond to it? I mean, I've covered myself in MSNBC (no, no political jokes today) and Fox News and CNN and Headline News footage, and watched reporter after reporter ask student after student the same questions: "Did you know him?" "Did you know any of the victims?" "Where were you?"... I read a blog commentary earlier tonight on myspace from someone who lost their best friend on Monday. She said that she's had dozens of reporters contact her via myspace to talk about her friend, and she just wanted to be left alone to grieve in peace.

I visited a few of the myspace pages for some of the victims, including Mary Read and Maxine Turner's ... some of the pages aren't real family friendly, so I won't link to them, but they're have one common thread. Lots of people missing them.

The one that struck me the most, the hardest was Lauren McCain.

If you scroll down, you'll see numerous people leaving comments asking where she is, with the last one being on Tuesday, 4/17, right before noon, asking her to call her parents. That means well over 24 hours had gone by since the rampage stopped, and her family still didn't know...

And then a comment around 420pm... "We miss you".

In those 4 hours, they found out. They were told the truth. In those 4 hours, Lauren's family and friends had their entire lives turned upside down.

Unfortunately, instead of calling it what it is--that being one very sick, very insane individual--its going to soon become tiresome rhetoric of gun law debates, how we could have stopped it, why Democrats are to blame, why Republicans are to blame, Bush hates college students, who knew what and when and so on... I don't look forward to it.

I can almost imagine the NBC News director grabbing the phone and saying "Get me that stock footage of anti-gun stuff. We'll need it."

My heart hurts. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that a single guy, 22, shot and killed THIRTY TWO people. Perhaps he was mad at one or two, but he ended up just walking and shooting people at random, opening up doors and firing with a gun so powerful that he could fire off up to 30+ rounds before reloading, and then reloading in a mere few seconds.

Maybe God is protecting me from wrapping my mind around this event, because I haven't been able to. I want to actually stop trying to, but I feel like I should.

Why does God allow this? What makes a loving God so arrogant that He can... wow. I stopped typing that sentence and stared at it, trying to figure out how to finish it. What makes a loving God so arrogant that He can remove a hand of protection over certain people, allow them to be gunned down, and then expect us all to turn to Him in comfort?

I watched the events of the Oklahoma City bombing unfold in amazement, I witnessed the Olympic bombing firsthand, then I went on to see the terror of Columbine, and of course, watching in agony as Tuesday, September 11th, transpired. And I've watched the heartbreak of Virginia Tech and the coward who took so many lives.

And, unfortunately, there will be more heartbreaks to come as life goes on. Bad things happen to good people, great things happen to rotten people. Beautiful people suffer sometimes, as horrible people prosper. And thats just how it works.

"All things work together for good to them that love God...", says Romans 3:23. And its true. With every murder, bombing, act of violence and so on that God permits to happen, somewhere there are children playing, babies being born, near miss accidents that leave me breathless and laughing, rainbows, dogs, iced coffee, Stephanie and millions of other blessings we sometimes take for granted. For every single tragic moment, God gives us a thousand ones to be joyful of.

I'm sure that a parent or a friend of anyone who is to be buried in the next few days from the VT rampage would say differently. Perhaps not. I think Lauren McCain would agree with me. I look forward to one day meeting her. There are several people on my list to find when I get to Heaven, and I think I just added her, if only to give her a hug and a smile.

Its late, I'm rambling, I perhaps didn't make a lick of sense to anyone but me. But thats what blogsites are for. For you. And for me.

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