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Of tragedy striking way too close to home

April 21, 2008

So this story came on top of the fold for today’s issue of The Red & Black. I had heard vague descriptions of the story last night at our Visitors Center spring banquet, but the magnitude and truth didn’t hit home until this morning when I woke up to a text from her Orientation Leader this summer. Without revealing a name, he said she was one of the freshmen who stood out during the sessions, and he had seen her many times on campus.

Nothing else could have so successfully put my stressful upcoming week into quite the right perspective as this. But the timing of the accident is what struck me most. In community group last night we talked about the concept of God painting on a canvas too large for us to comprehend or even recognize. The lesson came directly from an incredible talk by one Louie Giglio, a pastor who targets college-age students. If you’re interested, the whole talk entitled “When Life Hurts the Most: An Anchor of Hope” can be found in its entirety here. It’s amazing, but almost 45 minutes long, so I’ll give you a single highlight.

Louie talks about times when you have troubles that are so bad they can wreck you; so bad you don’t think you could ever get past them; so bad that you can’t believe that a God could even exist. But he says that there is also an “anchor of hope” (hence the title of the talk) that is the fact that God loves us and that he is painting on the aforementioned humongous canvas. We may never (and probably will never) know, in this life, what He means by everything, by all the troubles and by all the hurt. But he is always in control.

I have no idea what Tierra’s religious beliefs are/were or if they existed at all, but I know there will come a time when we will see what it all means. Until then, how could God not be watching over someone like this:

“She had this ability to make an individual connection with everyone she met.” — Nissa Shams, freshman and good friend of Tierra.

(c) The Red & Black, 21 Apr 2008, author Amanda Woodruff

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