We learned about last night’s tragedy at 6:30 this morning, when a friend from Virginia called to make sure we were all right–she’d seen the story on CNN. Throughout the day, we’ve heard from friends around the country, and even around the world.
Our hearts are with the Newbill family, whose loss is unimaginable, and with the Jordans and the family of the injured civilian, whose name has not yet been released, with Paul Bauer’s family and everyone at First Presbyterian. I’m also thinking of the family of the man who committed the crime, and sorrowing with them.
I feel certain that in the next weeks, as the whole story unfolds, we will learn some terrible things. No doubt we will see ideologues–local and national–exploit this event to further whatever cause they crusade for–just as the folks at Virginia Tech became fodder for various power struggles among the pundits. But I’m also certain that we will learn of heartbreaking courage and self-sacrifice. And I hope we can treat each other kindly and with compassion.