by Rabbi Eric Carlson
I wanted to take a moment and share with you some inside information concerning the events at Virginia Tech this past Monday. Living in Old Dominion, this was not a national tragedy, it was a family tragedy. Several gunshot victims are friends with my own children who graduated High school with them and several murder victims were from our communities here in Newport News, Yorktown, Hampton, and Virginia Beach. This morning (Thursday April 19th) I met and prayed with some of the family members here in our area. I cannot place in words the grief, emotions, and shock we are experiencing now, even as I reflect back upon this morning and feebly attempt to communicate to you what we are experiencing and what has occurred here.
The family I met with is a close-knit Lebanese Christian family that dearly loves the Lord. The family expresses its heartfelt thanks for your prayers and support as they grieve their horrendous loss.
I also spoke this morning, right after this meeting with a peace officer here in Virginia who had access to and has read some of the transcripts of the other ten videos that are not being shown on the news. The shooter (Cho) was quoting verses from the Koran and had Ishmael written on his arm and as his return address on the package sent to NBC. It appears that he did not randomly pick his targets but rather chose classes that had high concentrations of Christians and Jews in them. He was targeting Christians and Jews! This may never come out in the media and some may tend to disregard this but my source is a solid believer and a trustworthy officer who has personally read some of the transcripts. What adds to this is that the press is not mentioning that a very high percentage of the victims were believers. The names of the victims can be misleading and don’t indicate who they really are!
It has literally been a whirlwind here these past few days and unfortunately it has just begun for us. The blast arc of destruction extends beyond the campus in Blacksburg to friends and families across the Commonwealth into our own communities and people who are in shock, pain, and overwhelming grief. The initial shock will linger as long as the media circus continues but the true pain, emotional impact, scaring, and damage will surface in the next 6 to 12 months and longer when the nations short term memory has forgotten the rampage and terror that occurred here.
I have been astounded by our young men and women who have shown great courage, integrity and faith in the face of an unimaginable horror. Their resiliency and determination have led to a great openness towards God and Yeshua as they congregate together in grass roots prayer meetings, seeking the Kingdom of God! I pray this would be a great time of revival among them and that God receive Glory for what the enemy meant as devastation and destruction.
Please continue to stand in the gap for us and pray for healing and shalom.
In His Love,
Eric S. Carlson