In the Aftermath of Virginia Tech // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

As the tragedy at Virginia Tech unfolded last week, we were left with the familiar, haunting question:

I’m sure that’s what families gathered for the funeral services of the slain students are asking. There’s just not a very good answer to that question.

Over the years, I’ve dealt with a fair share of tragedy in my ministry. Through the years, I’ve had many hurting people look at me, as God’s representative, wondering, “Why??”

Any bungling attempt to give an answer is woefully inadequate. I don’t have the wisdom required to understand or explain it.

When people ask me “why”, I simply say, “I don’t know.” It doesn’t do any good to give a theological discourse on the problem of evil or the philosophical foundations for suffering. When responding to people in the deep waters of sorrow, “I don’t know” is the most profound answer available.

Why this? I don’t know.
Why me? I don’t know.
Why now? I don’t know.

But, then I try to steer them towards two other questions: “How?” and “Who?”

How are we going to get through this?
Answer: One day at a time. One moment at a time. One breath at a time.

Who is going to help me get through this?
Answer: My God, who carries me, and my friends who care about me. We’ll get through this together.”

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