My cousin and his wife are current PhD candidates at Virginia Tech. They heard the news of the shooting in the dorm before they left for work/class this morning. Since there was no email or warning issued, N* dropped off my cousin C* so he could walk into Norris Hall while she parked the car. He has an office there and teaches classes on the second floor in the same building. As he was walking, people were shouting at him to "get off the grounds." He didn't understand what they were talking about. He didn't know that there was more shooting going on but quickly, he found protection and safety somewhere. (Noone knew the location of the gunman at that point in time.) I'm sure my cousin and his wife are thankful for their safety today. They will remember the Lord's hand in blessing and protecting their lives on April 16, 2007. You just never know...you just never, ever know.... Fifteen minutes earlier, he might have been in the path of that crazed gunman. And dead. Fifteen mintues later, she might have been in the path.
This reminds me of an experience I had last fall...
It was about 9pm one night. I had attended a Relief Society Meeting at Church and was on my way home. I drive this route so often that I was just driving it...Not worried about where to turn or where to go. As I was approaching an intersection in which I had the green arrow to turn left, I saw this car come out of nowhere...barreling toward me on the road that crossed my path. I quickly applied the brakes so I could stop at the green light. The car sped through the intersection at breakneck speeds, seemingly unaware that he ran a red light and nearly caused a horrible crash. I knew at that instant that the Lord had protected me. If I had been in that intersection seconds earlier, I would probably not be writing this entry today. Instantly, I said a prayer of gratitude for my protection and safety.
So while there is grief tonight all around the Virginia Tech Campus and all around the State of Virginia and throughout the United States...let us also take time to be grateful for all the stories of "near misses" today. The student that decided to skip class today. For the one that slept in or felt too ill to go to class. For the broken down car that wouldn't start for class. For the student who wanted to grab a coffee first or whatever little, seemingly insignificant action that put one of those men and women in a protective and safe place. Let us acknowledge the hand of the Lord in that action and know that we are being watched over. Even today, April 16, 2007.