I had planned a very different topic for this week’s Corner. I am guessing that like many of you, I watched the news unfold on Monday night as we learned there was an active shooter on the campus of Michigan State University. Over the next four hours I waited for regular updates from the police as students were requested to shelter in place and the search for the shooter began.
I began praying as I learned that eight students had been shot, and three had lost their lives. I watched as police officers and FBI agents walked through campus searching for the shooter. I can only imagine what the students, faculty and staff were experiencing during that time. Shortly after midnight, the lead officers shared that they had located the shooter and he had taken his own life.
As I watched the news coverage on Tuesday, I learned that there have been 67 mass shooting incidents in our nation so far this year. And I am not sure if that number included the one which occurred in Pennsylvania on the 14th.
My heart goes out to the families of the three students who died as well as the shooter’s family. I recall watching an interview with survivors of the Sandy Hook shooting, who are now in their junior and senior years in high school. Each one spoke about the student they were before that day and the people they are now. That tragic day changed their lives in ways we may never know.
The same will be true for Michigan State students, faculty staff, along with the people of Lansing, and the first responders who were present to protect and serve. I ask that today, tomorrow and in the days to come, we pray for the university community, the city of Lansing, the faith communities which have opened their doors for support and comfort, and the counselors who have made themselves available for those who need to talk and grieve.
I hope that you will reach out to our sisters and brothers in the Lansing area, asking how we can help them journey through this time. Know that our Lord is with us in all times and in all ways. And Amen.