Campus Fears

Although I was not directly impacted by the Virginia Tech shootings, it has been interesting to observe the affect it has had on me in particular. In the past, when we have had tragedies in our country, I have grieved with those who grieve as well as I knew how, but because I was not directly affected, it seemed almost surreal, and I didn’t really know how to feel or act.

Because I am a college student, though, this time it seems to have hit closer to home. When I think of the scenes that took place, my mind cannot help but envision them in my own classrooms, in my own campus buildings. I realize that something like that could happen on my own campus as well as Virginia Tech. I realized that there could be people on my own campus, in my own life, who are feeling just as desperate and lonely as Mr. Cho was…am I reaching out to them?

Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with anxiety more than a little. So of course, these thoughts can lead to anxiety in my heart. Especially when I read the accounts of the survivors and envision the horror of those moments. I often wonder what I would have done, how I would have felt, had I been one of the victims?

In some of the accounts of what happened, students tell how Mr. Cho poked his head in many of the classrooms before the shooting began. They assumed he was looking for someone. In reality, he was most likely gauging the amount of people in each room so he could do the most damage. I wonder what it would have been like to see a person, assume they’re looking for a classmate (like we’ve all had happen) and then have him return later to begin gunning everyone down? I have thought. I get a little nervous every time a door opens after class has begun.

So this morning, I was sitting in my 8 am Faith and Learning Class and about halfway through the class, the far door opened. That side of the classroom sits empty, so we keep the lights out. We all turned to look. A dark skinned man wearing a mask leaned around the corner and peered into the room, then disappeared. My heart about jumped out of my chest! The mask he was wearing resembled a cleaning mask, and I had seen him outside the bathrooms earlier, so I was fairly sure he was a janitor, but still! I was scared stiff! I spent the next few minutes praying and calming my heart, trying not to let my imagination run away with me.

All this has just got me to thinking…the fact that the shooting was on a college campus, and I am currently on a college campus (in downtown Chicago no less) has made the whole incident much more real to me, for better or for worse. But I have been able to pray more effectively for those who have suffered because of this. I pray that God will continue to give me a heart for those who are hurting. And I pray nobody’s angry with anybody at our school!–and that I may never be one who would fuel such an anger.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jenna on April 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    Good, Sister, I think you explained it well.

    I’m sure it’s much scarier to be “sitting where you are sitting” than where I am. I’ll be praying for your safety when I pray for Joey’s!


  2. Posted by StevoWillco on April 24, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    Ashley Nicole,
    You are so good at putting your thought into words! I am learning much from you! Thanks for opening up your heart and sharing! I am sure that many appreciate what you write! Love you sweetie! God bless!!


  3. Posted by Anonymous on May 6, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Mt24:12). I find myself being suspicious and cynical. I pray my love increases and that the church remains a shelter in the storm. “I sought the Lord and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4 A psalm of David when he changed his behavior, feigned madness …..).


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