In the midst of tragedy...we can prevail!


In the midst of tragedy...we can prevail!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Poet and Activist Nikki Giovanni delivered a soul-stirring speech that offered hope and consolation to the millions who witnessed (in person or via media) Wednesday's Invocation on the Campus of Virginia Tech.

Her speech centered on prevailing in the aftermath of the April 17th tragedy, while touching on recurrent worldwide tragedies like children dying of AIDS (among other things).

The underlying message that came from the lips of Giovanni was not only for those directly affected by the tragedy, but for all mankind, for all time.

The whole concept of prevailing in tragedy is not new, yet many do not know how to prevail when faced with tragedy. It (tragedy) prompts many to question God's motive for allowing 'bad' things to happen in our lives (and around the world).

We ask God...

• Why didn't you stop the Virginia Massacre?

• Why do you allow so many innocent people to die in Iraq?

• Why did you allow my friend to die?

• Why did you allow my daughter to get pregnant?

The reality is that we live in an evil world and until the end of time, there will be terrorist attacks, wars, hurricanes, shootings and starvation.

This may be hard for some to hear, but God never promised to protect us from harm, but He promised help us deal with harm, He promised to help us deal with difficult situations, He promised to give us the tools to help others who have experienced tragedy, He promised to help us Prevail!

<b><i>What makes the difference is our response (how Faith and Community helps)</i></b>

Great leaps of spiritual awareness and community swept our nation in the aftermath of September 11th and I believe that this is what helps heal the emotional wounds that were opened up that day. In the same way, Faith and Community is helping heal the wounds that were opened on April 17th.

The heroism that we witness during and after tragedies is an example of how courage, love, and goodness can show their faces in the midst of evil and suffering, in consequence, healing many broken hearts.

The same principle applies on a local level. Faith and Community helps us prevail when we are facing individual tragedies.

To this end, in the words of Nikki Giovanni: <i>"we are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid. We are better than we think, not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imagination and the possibility we will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears, through all this sadness."</i>

In the midst of tragedy, we can prevail!

From my heart, to yours,


-Read more about Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor, poet, activist <a href="">here</a>

Posted by at <a href="">12:15 PM</a>


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Brent Jesiek




Brent Jesiek


Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License





Brent Jesiek, “In the midst of tragedy...we can prevail!,” The April 16 Archive, accessed August 23, 2017,