I’ve taken a few days now to read many news posts, comments, and blogs about the Virginia Tech massacre. Something as grave and all-encompassing as this tragedy digs deep into the moral fabric of our society and tears at the very fragile seams holding it all together. I’ve given a few posts to my thoughts and comments immediately after it occurred, but now I feel the need to speak on a subject which might rile some people up.
The question that most often comes to mind as I have prayed about all of this is, “Why?” Why would anyone have such conflicting thoughts and inner turmoil to justify murdering over 30 people, and then take their own life? Why would they withdraw from society almost completely, hiding their pain behind sunglasses and hats? Why would they write dark, disturbing plays and poetry about death and mayhem and stalk their fellow college classmates.
Those are tough questions; even tougher answers lie ahead in the days and weeks to come as we find out more about this young man’s life, and the things that pushed him over the edge.
Yet, there is one thing each of us can do, as human beings prone to fail in our corruptible human flesh: we must forgive Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech gunman.
And that, my friends, is a difficult thing to swallow. But we know that none of us is any better than he was, and we are ALL make mistakes and sin against God. Sin is sin, regardless of whether it is murder or lying or cheating or stealing or…anything else that is not what God wants us to do in our lives. Forgiveness, above all, can help heal the wounds that this terrible and tragic event has caused.
Forgive…but not forget what happened. As Christians and non-Christians alike living in the great United States of America, we are subjected more and more in today’s world to violence against our fellow man. Morality has become a moot point in our lives; crime rates in our cities continue unabated, and the news is filled each day with horrendous acts with no discernible pattern. It is up to us to learn from these senseless acts of the enemy’s work and do our best to combat them in a truly forgiving, yet law-abiding way.
Our work is never-ending, to be sure. The battle rages on al around us, but yet there is hope in forgiveness and reconciliation, even in the most dreadful of circumstances.
Forgive the sinner. That’s what Jesus did, and continues to do, for all of us. We can all take a page from His life and do the same for Cho Seung-Hui.
And then, prayerfully, the healing will begin.