On Monday, Virginia Tech was shaken by an unthinkable tragedy--the worst shooting in American History. In the last 36 hours, the whole nation has rallied to support the school in prayer, vigils and in remembrance of the lives lost. Police and many others are only beginning to determine just what motivated that young man to committ such a terrible act--in an angry and lengthy note written prior to the shootings, he blamed "rich kids and religion." The indictment of religion, in particular, left me with an indescribable chill of dread. Creation has been thoroughly saturated with sin, and we ourselves are no exception. But to reject the very idea of God, to outright deny that innate sense of a divine creator to the point of taking 32 lives? That is the embodiment of evil. That, friends, is Satan at work.
However, just as the fall is a recurring truth in History, a greater truth is that of redemption. God uses even the most despicable sins and tragedies as He works out His plan. This shooting is no exception. Even in the midst of death, sorrow and confusion, there is a story of grace to be found, and that is the story which I will briefly relate here:
Liviu Librescu taught engineering and math at VA Tech. A 76-year old Romanian Jew, Librescu had survived the Holocaust, fled Communist Romania, and forged a career as an aeronautical engineer & educator. On Monday, the elderly Librescu had blocked the door to his class, enabling his students to escape by jumping out the windows, before he, himself was shot and killed. This act of grace and sacrifice is a beacon at such a dark time. I can only hope that Librescu's students will live the rest of their lives in eternal gratitude to his sacrifice; that they will show such grace and selflessness in everything they do.
Even when Satan strikes a devastating blow, God's saving grace endures. It may not always be obvious, especially when grief clouds our vision and the thick fog of despair gathers around us. Even though sin is so painfully obvious in every walk of life, we must not lose heart. Even in the face of suffocating doubt, we must not reject God, our Creator. He is always there. And He will Triumph.