We live not 25 miles south of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech. So this recent horror has happened in our very back yard.
Even closer to the killing fields, Ann works at the hospital shown so often on the news over the past few days, as some 17 victims were sent there–the closest hospital to campus. She had an entire work day of thinking “this could have been our son or daughter”.
I don’t have any insights to offer. Like so many others, I’m just sort of numb. Stunned. Saddened, angry, perplexed.
Funny–After talking with my mom and others her age on my visit last week about how safe they used to feel in downtown Birmingham, I had been contemplating the idea of a piece for the Floyd Press. It would ponder what in the world has happened to this country that we have become so fearful of one another, of strangers, of city streets, of shopping malls and bus stops and parks.
What has happened that we have made our homes into fortresses from which we seldom venture? How is it that we feel safe only in groups? We fear for our children. We make them play indoors for fear of abduction or drive-by shooting. Schools hire policemen with guns to patrol the halls. What is going on?
And then this.
What forces, spirits, convictions or conventions so miserably absent today once constrained man from violence against his fellow man? Have we begun to believe something different, something far lesser about the meaning and value and purpose of life? Or have we merely forgotten those convictions that so many held for so long in what was once in many ways a more civil society under God?