Today, April 9, 2019 marks the five year anniversary of the day our lives were rocked by a stabbing incident at our high school, where a single student, acting alone, took two 8-inch kitchen knives to school and launched an all-out attack on his fellow-classmates early in the morning in a crowded hallway. In a sense, it’s hard to believe it’s been five years. In another sense, it seems like a life-time ago.
To those who would suggest this event was a conspiracy theory to further political agendas concerning bullying or weapons, I would literally fight you. That’s the “mama-bear” instinct in me. I saw some of the physical wounds first hand. I visited hospitals with families who weren’t sure whether their kids would live. I witnessed many of the emotional wounds first hand. I can assure you they were real.
In the days immediately following the attack, I personally drove scads of kids around to various Pittsburgh hospitals to visit their friends who had been stabbed. My daughter’s boyfriend took a blade to the back which amazingly enough only nicked his liver, but truly missed all vital organs. He spent a few days in the hospital without food in the event they had to perform surgery, but was lucky enough not to require surgery. Other victims underwent multiple surgeries to address their extensive wounds. Miraculously, and only by the hand of God, there was no actual loss of life. Sometimes I believe that because no one died, people have dismissed the seriousness of the attack.
In the weeks after the event, I found myself literally consumed with needing to know how the community of Columbine, CO recovered from the school shooting that redefined school violence. I remembered that, in the years prior, the teachers at our high school went through active shooter training, and being told that the demographics of our community were eerily similar to that of Columbine – that the trainers felt it wasn’t a matter of “if” something would happen in our school, but a matter of “when”. In a matter of days, I read a 400 page book entitled, Columbine, by Dave Cullen, that depicts the grisly details of the event and the investigation as well as how the community coped (or didn’t). It felt, at the time, almost as it did on 9/11/2001, and I wondered if and how we’d ever move on.
Five years after the event, and many miles away in respective colleges, my kids and their friends still hear gasps around them when people learn what school they went to. It is as if they can’t seem to get away from it. The even has shaped all of us to a degree – I’ve seen some students choose careers in law enforcement because of it. I’ve seen some emerge as leaders, determined to make the world a better place. I’ve seen others shrivel in the wake of the day.
In a moment when we try to make sense of the violence around us, I cling only to the hope that we have in Jesus for eternity spent with Him. I pray for His guidance and His continued healing on those who are so desperately broken and need Him so much. I know His hand is upon us. I can see His miracles around us every day.
I know they’re rather long, but if you would, I’d be honored if you’d read my previous posts on the subject.
The Blood That was spilled ( This post was originally posted as a Facebook note in April, 2014, and was shared with over 25,000 views)
Keep ‘em Safe in the Hallways (This post really dealt with the fact that sometimes we don’t fully understand the reach of our prayers, and the impact they can have).
My heart bleeds for a broken world that needs to know Jesus.
In humble servanthood,
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