Some of you may wonder why I haven’t commented about the Virginia Tech tragedy at this point, mainly because I’m a college pastor and work with college students who have a certain kinship to this incident.

And all I can simply think of to say is that I have nothing to say at this point. Nothing that seems of any worth. I am speechless for one of the first times in my life.

As I watch the news I am really sickened for one of the first times in my life about all the rhetoric, name calling, blaming and other things that are going on in the light of horrible tragedy. As students and faculty lay dead the media is relentless to get their story and find anyone to say anything about the incident. It all seems very surreal and inauthentic to me.

I am living in a weird place these days. Working as a pastor at church where words are a majority of my vocation and working at a community mental health clinic as a therapist where silence and listening are my vocation. And right now I am most comfortable in the latter because I can only grieve for those who have lost their lives and with their families.

Working in community mental health has put a name and face to people who were at one time in my life “out there”, or “those people.” When people are “out there” or “those people” it is easier to label, judge and demonstrate a lack of campassion. So as I look at the Virginia Tech incident I’m afraid to say much since I don’t know any of these people and I don’t want my words to come across as contrived or inauthentic.

So instead I will continue to pray for all of them and I hope that we as Christians can be people who are comfortable with sitting in the mess and tragedy of life with those who are suffering, and not feel like we always have to have answers to these things or fix them as quickly as possible.