Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Deadliest Rampage...

The shootings at Virginia Tech have ended and so even before pain and grief can fully settle in, the blaming begins. The official emails of warning will be disected and compared to what was known when, while others ask is any campus safe or look for who to accuse of what on the Virginia Tech campus. It is natural and all too predictable that when tragedy occurs we try to figure out why it couldn't have happened to me or someone I love. I wouldn't have been there or done that or acted that way or...

There may be real blame to be assessed for the slow flow of communication. But for most of us, it isn't helpful to throw stones at the VT leaders who are no doubt doing Monday morning quarterbacking on their own now. The best reaction to devastating pain and loss isn't with words anyway.

The best reaction is to, when possible, be with those in grief. The Episcopal Church in Blacksburg is responding (through the campus ministry, Canterbury House, and the local church, Christ Church) to this tragedy and will work together with other churches in the area to form an ecumenical response as well. It matters less what they say at Canterbury House and Christ Church and more that they make room for the pain and the questioning as they are present with those who are suffering. In the midst of a tragedy, is not yet the time to try to make sense of it. Instead, it is the time to let God speak to one's own heart.

I offer my own small prayer for us as we try to find a way to respond to so great a tragedy:
Almighty God, you did not leave us
to our own devices and desires but came to live among us
through your Son Jesus Christ
and endured pain and death to redeem human suffering,
give us the grace of your presence
in the midst of unspeakable pain and loss
and grant that we may bear your light
into the dark places of this life
by being present to others as they grieve,
through the power of your Holy Spirit.

I offer another prayer for those who are grieving this day in Blacksburg, Virginia and well beyond as the pain of this tragedy stretch out to all connected with it:

Heavenly Father, you taught us through your Son Jesus
that not one sparrow falls to the earth that you do not know of it
and that even the hairs of our head are numbered,
give your peace beyond understanding to all those
affected by the shootings at Virginia Tech
and other senseless acts of violence
that in time the pain of this loss may be redeemed
by the power of your great love,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

It may seem like too much to ask for that this tragedy will be redeemed, and maybe it is. Certainly the suffering will spiral out from the campus. But so to will the love of those affected. And the love will be greater than the hate. And in small ways, the good that God desires will be done not because of this tragic shooting that was not God's will, but in spite of it.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor



  • At 4/17/2007 9:14 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Father Steve's blog has an article he wrote based on his own experience with a school shooting in an elementary schol where his mother was the principal. It's online at: Kyrie Eleison.


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