Julia Bradford

Guest Writer

“Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow,” a hymn by Marty Haugen. No phrase articulates better the emotions felt in regards to the aftermath of violence in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad.

On Nov. 18, all were welcomed to a candlelight vigil that was to take place in the campus chapel. This vigil allowed Lutes to take a moment to honor all of the lives lost and the loved ones who are now left to put together the pieces of why such violence took place.

First-years Kaylee Fiedler and Kara Barkman stand holding their candles
First-years Kaylee Fiedler and Kara Barkman stand holding their candles

Eddie McCoven, cantor for the chapel here on campus, spoke about his hopes for the vigil. “It is just a shame that it has to be tragedy to bring people together.” He encourages others to come together in times of both good and bad.

With the room dimly lit, McCoven on the piano and candles spread throughout the room, there was a comfortable silence. Time passed in quiet as students reflected on all that has occurred in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut and, not to forget, other locations around the world–even in our own backyard.

As candles were passed out to all in attendance, the flames flickered as Lutes closed their eyes and reflected.

For all those there, in those moments, it was not about what denomination each person belonged to, about whether or not each student has made it to church recently, or even at all, or about a belief in a specific religion.It was about a belief in people, and a belief in the goodness that is still out there – despite all that is happening around the world.

We cannot allow these terrorists attacks to take away our hope and trust in others. It is times like these that we come together as Lute. And as members of this community, we must protect the flame that illuminates the good, not the smoke that tries to blind us.
Our hearts are with all those suffering around the world right now. As Lutes, we stand by you.

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