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Virginia Tech Shootings
"A man went berserk today and gunned three people down,
in a fast food restaurant in someone else's town,
Everybody said they'd never seen the man around,
But anybody knew that he was from somebodies town.

But nobody reached him for the Gospel,
though anybody knew that it was right,
and everybody hoped he'd see somebody's light,
but in the end nobody was in sight..."

Nobody, David F. Sweet (1986)

Without an inkling of what was coming we find ourselves faced with the latest reminder that we live in an ugly world. If ugly can even cover it. 33 people dead on a college campus, victims of the latest demonic assault on America's youth and our national psyche. It's horrible and sad beyond words.

On one side stands another social outcast who imagines a world that hates him and has conspired against him. In his mind they have ridiculed and ostracized him. He feels oppressed and helpless and can find no better answer than a demonic frenzy of bloodshed and bravado. What can we do as Christians? Pray for the families? Pray over our schools and campuses daily asking for God's divine protection? Yes.

Beyond that, what? What can we set on the other side as guilt that would ever outweigh the horror of what that young man did? Nothing. His crime is too horrible. Our sin is small by comparison and hardly worth mentioning. We sometimes laugh with the world when they single someone out as being strange or socially inept. Sometimes we allow our own issues to keep us from seeing the need in others. Can any of that make a difference in the life of a certified monster? I don't know. In fact it's a separate issue. One man's guilt never affects another's. We stand alone.

But as a former sociopath that recalls firsthand the helpless rage that comes from ridicule I know a bit of that dark side. I know what it is to be the foil for the rich and the popular in school and to feel so despised as to take it as an absolute impossibility that I could ever be "good". It's easy to believe that when the Devil whispers in your ear that you have no place in decent society and that in fact your only hope is to be as bad a you can be. I know those thoughts, they were my thoughts.

One of my favorite songs during the dark years before I found Jesus was Elton John's "Tickin'".

"‘An extremely quiet child' they called you in your school report,
‘He's always taken interest in the subjects that he's taught',
So what was it that brought the squad cars screaming up your drive?
To notify your parents of the manner in which you died?"

If you don't know the song it's all about boy as timebomb. Suffering in silence until one explosion with a handgun leaves "14 people lying dead in a bar they call the Kickin' Mule" Even now I can write the words from memory because I lstened to it so many times. I connected with the song and felt it was my own story. There were many times when I daydreamed about making such an end to my life. One final act of revenge. One final way of saying "I can cause pain too". It's no more complicated than that.

Thank God he had other plans for me. Thank God someone preached the Gospel to me. Someone who was living it out in front of me. My heart aches for the families of the slain but I thank God for the fact that no one is beyond his grace. Even monsters can turn and find mercy at the foot of the Cross. And that's the whole point of this post.

Please, don't anyone think that somehow I am defending a murderer or being disrespectful toward those grieving souls who will never be the same. I post this here with the sole hope that maybe another tragedy can be averted. Maybe someone will read this obscure post and realize that they are not too far from God. You need to know that every lie of the enemy, and every bondage, can be broken in the name of Jesus Christ. There is no sin that you have committed, no oath that you have sworn, no allegiance that you have accepted that can possibly hold you from becoming his child if you will just call out to him.