The tragic event at Virginia Tech continues to fill my heart with pain. The safety of the campus was shattered when Cho Seung-Hui shot and killed 32 students and faculty before committing suicide.
I was involved in meetings and speaking engagements at Denver Seminary when the event unfolded. Fear, concern and sadness permeated the campus as students and others asked the questions: "Why did this happen?" "Who was the shooter?" "Who were the ones shot?" "What about the parents and families of those killed?"
Then the news began to show photographs of the faces of those slain and news-clips of parents and family as they learned of the death of loved ones. The clips of parents of international students especially touched me. One can only imagine the heartbreak and sadness they felt being so far away.
I wondered about the dead and their relationship with Jesus. We know that at least three had ties to Baptist ministries.
In the midst of this tragedy, I met Jose, a driver at the hotel who shuttled me to the seminary. He was shaken because of the incident and said his father had died suddenly and he had lost a brother in a drive-by shooting; life was so uncertain. Jose wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise. Finally I said, "You need to have a personal relationship with Christ, and He will carry your burdens and calm your fears." Jose seemed stunned. Although he didn't make a decision for Christ, he promised to consider my invitation.
Christ only asks us to present the message, perhaps give testimony to what He has done in our lives. I love sharing the Word with those who don't know it. And I love knowing the results are in the hands of God.
I still wonder about the eternal relationship of those who lost their lives at Virginia Tech, Jose and others with whom I have shared the gospel.
I encourage California Southern Baptists always to be vigilant in telling people about Jesus. We never know if we'll have another opportunity to share or if they will have an opportunity to hear.
I also encourage us to pray for the families of those who lost their lives, including the family of the shooter, and for the student body, faculty and administration at Virginia Tech.