Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today we are still in the wake of horror as we pray for the victim families of the Virginia Tech Shootings.

I’ve read several articles, trying hard to understand what possessed Cho Seung-Hui, the disturbed, young killer. And I mean “possessed”. Was he indeed possessed? I certainly can’t answer that question and I’m not even sure it would make much difference because one doesn’t need to be possessed to perform such heinously chilling crimes. Not nowadays!

Nowadays you can just feed your mind on ubiquitous obsessions of evil. And every ghoulish gadget and garbage possible is at your fingertips ready to make you a puppet of the macabre. Let’s face it: TV, movies, video-games, web sites—all avariciously espouse filth and violence as if the world’s gone mad. Really mad! And many of us know it. Still it goes on.

One article I read was written by someone previously in the same class as Seung-Hui. He’d read his class-mates twisted plays. They’re now published on the net and I read one. Horrible. This play was a homework assignment and was apparently read aloud in class. That means people heard it and had an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the torment plaguing this kid’s mind. How can it be that teachers heard this stuff and did nothing? No-one saw red-flags? Or they just ignored them? This is my question: Why are we ignoring such heavily morbid obsessions with hatred, death, evil being expressed by fellow human-beings—and some very young?

I like what I read on Assist News Service – – where Michael Ireland’s article quotes David Kuo’s blog. Kuo alludes to the fact that not only is it not enough just to be aware of tragedies through TV and media, but continually giving so much time to update ourselves on them, weep over them and empathize in our hearts is actually counter-productive. It would be better we limit the quantity of time we engage in absorbing the needed info (news, media etc.) and embrace the horror of it in our hearts only to quickly put our empathy into action by helping those around us in need. Amen to it! I love this concept because there are needy kids all around—especially in the foster system.

I’ve recently thought a lot about the disconnected kids who reach 18 having never connected to any family—not even a foster family. They leave the system with nobody to turn to for guidance, help, and encouragement. Many become prostitutes or delinquents of some nature. Many end up in jail. Yet, we can do something. Not only can we begin praying for them but, in most states, we can ask foster agencies (especially Christian ones) to connect us to these older kids. Or to connect us to those who will soon be leaving the system. We can become their friends, their listeners their mentors and maybe, by speaking into their lives through love, we can help prevent them from making major mistakes with their little, vulnerable lives. Love changes things. And love is an action!

Let’s face it, it’s not true of all but it’s true of many: A lot of kids have hatred because they’ve been wronged. After reading one of Seung-Hui’s plays, it’s clear to me his heart harbored deep hatred. One of his plays features a boy who hated an abusive step father. (I couldn’t face reading his other play). The words echo distorted ideas, violence, sick-mindedness... I wonder how many kids there are out there whose hearts are steeped with unresolved conflict and hate. May God help us pray for them—and reach them. We are Jesus’s hands and feet. Let’s find those around us, those we can reach, who are needy. And let’s lay down our lives to reach them so that, instead of becoming haters, these kids can be transformed into loving, God-fearing citizens whose lives impact others for good.

May God make us all mentors of those in need, givers to those who are so lost and needy so that these kind of incidents become fewer or stop altogether.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Yes, I’m back from Africa. And I’m alive! (I guess you figured that unless you thought I’m an imposter of me). I have lots of stories to tell you about Africa so please check back in a few days. But for today, since it’s time for our featured CSFF blogtour, I’ll add a short blurb in hopes that good Christian literature will grab more attention everywhere.

This month, the CSFF is featuring Karen Hancock’s Return of the Guardian-King :

Although I have not read this book—hey, who can read when they’re crying so much?! (You should see those street children in Africa and see if you cry)—I know my fellow bloggers have, and they’ve written wonderful reviews so please visit some of their blogs:

CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa Annakindt
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Grace Bridges
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
< Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
April Erwin
Kameron M. Franklin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Christopher Hopper
Heather R. Hunt
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Tsaba House Authors
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver
Dawn King
Rebecca Grabill
Jill Hart

I will be back soon with more news on my recent trip. Let’s just say that God was very present. I do thank you for your prayers.