There are no words to explain what happened in Newtown, CT today. We know there was a terrible shooting. We know 20 children and 6 adults were killed. We know there are hundreds of children that have been traumatized. We know the gunman killed himself. But there are no words that are adequate to describe the shock and disbelief that someone walked into a school and killed young children. It is totally unbelievable. I remember being shocked by Columbine, Virginia Tech, the Amish Schoolhouse shooting but this just seems worse. Is it because of the time of year? Realizing that there are probably Christmas presents that have already been wrapped that will never be opened. Realizing there could be photo Christmas cards in the mail that picture a child that is now dead. My heart breaks for the families, and for the entire community.
My heart breaks for us as a nation because we went over a line. I can’t even imagine what could happen after today that would be more shocking than what happened today in Newtown, CT. And that is unacceptable. “We” need to do whatever it takes to make sure our children are safe. And it isn’t more laws, security check points or surveillance cameras that will make them safe. It is treating each other with respect. It is caring for our families. It is caring for our neighbors. It is teaching our children that their life and everyone else’s life is sacred. I don’t want laws to teach that. Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles need to teach that. And this will get me in trouble with some people, I don’t even care how you teach it. If you are a Christian, Jew, Muslim or atheist just teach your children that they have value and so does everyone else. Teach them to respect themselves and to respect others. And when they get older they will sort it out for themselves but teach them. And when it is all said and done we will probably agree on more than we ever thought we could. And even if we don’t agree, we can still talk and our children will be able to grow up and teach their children.
I remember on December 21, 1988 watching the newscasts about Pan Am flight 103 blowing up over Lockerbie, Scotland. And there is an image I will never forgot. There was a mother standing in the airport and she is told the plane exploded and she screams and collapses to the floor in total despair. That image haunted me today. There is a verse in the book of Matthew that states:”A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more” Matthew 2:18
We call a wife that lost her husband a widow. We call a husband that lost his wife a widower. But there is no word for a parent that lost a child. It is just the wrong order of things. Praying for peace that passes all understanding for the moms, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that lost a child today. 🙁