Monday was one of those days that will live in infamy. If you turned on the news, you probably saw non-stop coverage of the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech. From the first moment I saw the ticker crawling across the bottom of Fox News Channel, my heart dropped and it hasn't fully recovered.
As a writer, one of the things that often happens when I learn about a tragedy like that is I almost dive into the middle of the pain. What would it be like? What would I be feeling? What would I do if I suddenly heard gunfire? What about friends? Even as I pray that God will comfort and protect, the questions race.
I've been blessed. The closest I've come to a tragedy like this is escaping Washington, DC on 9/11. I worked in a court next to the White House and evacuated as soon as we knew the Pentagon had been hit. We watched the Pentagon smolder from our neighborhood. Drove by the devastation every day on the way to work. But other than not being able to get to work for a week because the security perimeter around the White House kept shifting or being unable to let my husband know I was on my way home, I was again a spectator.
As I listened to one of the commentators, I got so frustrated. The tragedy was hardly two hours old and this particular talking head was being so critical of the VT administration and it's security measures. I sat there thinking, until three hours ago, nobody would have thought something like this was possible.
How do you react when you witness -- long-distance -- a tragedy like today's? In a world where the media is so invasive and pervasive, it's hard not to feel like a witness.