You can read more and even see more about this tragedy here.  This hits home because it’s in our "neck of the woods," and it’s just plain scary.  I just received an E-mail from our church pastor, and I think she has the right idea.

"Please join me in a moment of prayer for all the families, students, faculty and others who have been affected by the tragedy at VA Tech.  The Wesley Foundation on campus has opened its doors as a place of safety and comfort, and I understand local clergy have made themselves available to help in any way they can.

My heart has been heavy today, as I’m sure many of yours are.  So many young people once again have fear in their lives during a time that should be filled with hope and dreams…not just those in Blacksburg, but on campuses, and in high schools, across our state and nation.  Parents, take time to hug your children today, or call with words of encouragement and love.  Listen to them express their thoughts, anger, pain and/or uneasiness.  Help them understand that God weeps with them and the families of all those who mourn this senseless violence. 
Pray for the family and loved ones of the one who committed this horrible act who are likely to be recipients of retaliation or shunning at a time when they need support the most.
And, pray for transforming peace–as a means of healing wounds and as a personal weapon in the fight against terror, wherever it rears its ugliness."
              
   
         

When I think about terrorism, the first thing that comes to mind is bombs dropping.  I don’t think about the people right here, living next door, who might one day snap and decide they’ve had enough, that innocent people should pay, or whatever they’re thinking.  I don’t think about someone deciding to take a gun into my little boy’s classroom and open fire.  I don’t think about someone locking down a grocery store and holding hostages.  But maybe I should.  For me, safety with out comes only after saftey with in.  While I understand that not all tragedies such as this can be prevented, I think when we begin to better understand their roots and perhaps see some of the "early warning signs," we can better recognize threats from abroad as well. 

          I’m rattled.  Shaken.  Scared.  I have always feared for my children’s saftey and it is one of the big factors contributing to my wish to have my children taught in private school.  I know that being in a private school is no guarantee, but it seems safer somehow.  Things like this make me want to squeeze my children for all they are worth and never let them go.  It makes me want to remind my children to stand up for people when they are being picked on, even if it means losing a friend or two, or even a tooth or two.  It makes me think that we, as a nation, don’t discipline consistently enough, or hug and remind our children they are safe and loved enough, either.
     There will always be people who are wired a bit differently.  But you can’t tell me that someone completely normal and sane just woke up this morning and decided to kill 32 people.  You can’t tell me that no one, and I mean NO ONE, thought that there might be something disturbing the shooter…  We’re falling down on the job here, and that’s scary.  Do we not care enough or is it just "not our business" any more?  If you saw your neighbor being beat, is it also none of your business to call the police or help them?  What is happening to us?  I am terrified of the world my boys are going to live in…  Absolutely terrified.
     When I was in middle school, there was a very kind young man who was often the butt of the joke.  I don’t recall actually joining in, but I don’t ever remember standing up for him, either.  It bothered me for years.  It bothered me so much that I tracked this person down.  I told him that I was sincerely sorry for those years, for the things people said about him and did to him, and that I wish I had stood up for him.  Since then, we’ve met several times, and we continue to stay in touch.  Now I know that my actions a decade later don’t change the hurt that he endured until then.  And I don’t know that things would have turned out any differently had I stepped up for him.  But I do know I would have been a better person for it.  I do know that I never would have regretted standing up for him.  And I also know that sometimes…  Sometimes it only takes one person.  One kind word or gesture…  And that one thing can make all the difference.
       
           "There was a girl I used to know, she was oh so beautiful, but she’s not here anymore.  She had a college degree, smart as anyone could be, she had so much to live for.  But, she fell in love with the wrong kinda man.  He abused her love and treated her so bad.  There was not enough education in her world that could save the life of this little girl.  How come?  How long?  It’s not right, it’s so wrong.  Do we let it just go on, turn our backs and carry on?  Wake up, ‘fore it’s too late.  Right now, we can’t wait.  She won’t have a second try.  Open up your hearts, as well as your eyes. 

She tried to give a cry for help, she even blamed things on herself, but no one came to her aid.  Nothing was wrong as far as we could tell.  That’s what we’d like to tell ourselves.  But no, it wasn’t that way.  So she fell in love with the wrong kinda man.  And she paid with her life for loving that man.  So we cannot ignore, we must look for the signs.  And maybe next time, we might save somebody’s life.

How come?  How long?  It’s not right, it’s so wrong.  Do we let it just go on, turn our backs and carry on?  Wake up, ‘fore it’s too late.  Right now, we can’t wait.  She won’t have a second try.  Open up your hearts, as well as your eyes.

I on occasion met that guy.  He stirred up bad feelings deep inside.  Something about him wasn’t right.  The way he proves himself a man by beatin his woman with his hands, Oh I wish she’d seen the light.  How can someone like that call himself a man?
In reality he’s far more less than that.  And we cannot ignore, whenever we see the signs ’cause any kinda of abuse, God knows isn’t right.

How come?  How long?  It’s not right, it’s so wrong.  Do we let it just go on, turn our backs and carry on?  Wake up, ‘fore it’s too late.  Right now, we can’t wait.  She won’t have a second try.  Open up your hearts, as well as your eyes."

        – Stevie Wonder and BabyFace

          Do you think it’s your business to speak up when you see people being hurt?  If so, would you discipline your children if you found out they were making fun of someone, or didn’t stand up for someone who was being made fun of in their presence?

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