“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom. 12:21
April 16, 2007 was the day of the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech, a day that lives on in infamy and is forever emblazoned in the minds of those of us who were personally affected. Our oldest son was a freshman student there at that time and when the news came, we were among the thousands of parents who waited anxiously for word that he was okay.
Our anxiety was short lived as he was quickly able to get word out that he was ok and had been in his dorm at the time, but that was not the case for the parents of the thirty two students who lost their lives in that senseless act of violence.
During the days following, our phone continued to ring with family, friends and acquaintances from near and far calling to check in to see if our son was ok. As each call came in, I wrote the name of the caller on our kitchen white board. Slowly, it began to fill up with names until there was no space left to fit even one more caller—and the calls still came. We answered all the calls that we could and were so grateful for the outpouring of love and compassion. Most people didn’t know what to say or how to ask if everything was ok, so they would say things like, “We are praying for you.” We felt enveloped in love and sustained by those prayers.
Our experience made me even more determined to call when tragedy strikes—even if I don’t know what to say. The simple act of calling or sending a note or messaging someone in their time of difficulty, can be the difference between crumpling under the pressure and finding the strength to carry on.
In a world that seems to be suffocating in evil, let us fearlessly continue to be Christ to one another by simply making the contact that spreads a blanket of love and compassion over tragedy.
Dear God, Help me to have the courage to make the call when I need to. Amen.