I jokingly call my pets my children, but I know that it is not the same. So I don’t write this post from the perspective of a mother who will get off work and go spend time with her children. I won’t pretend to know what it is like to carry and give birth to a child, or to have that special bond that people talk about, because I have not experienced that in my life yet. Therefore, I really do not know what the parents of Connecticut are feeling today.
I can only imagine….and I pray that I never have to experience the hell they are going through right now.
Friday was a busy work-day for me. I didn’t have the chance to go online and check the news or to check Facebook. It was one in the afternoon before I heard what had happened….and at that time the word was that only one adult and one child had died. The rumors were many and spread like wildfire…..the shooter had a child of his own in the school…..there were multiple shooters…..the shooter was dead….the shooter had been arrested…..twelve children had died…..the shooter had a mother that worked in the school…..sixteen children had died…..an entire class was unaccounted for….
With Christmas just one week away, I’m sure that gifts had already been bought, wrapped, and placed under the tree. I can’t imagine what that must feel like……to stare at your Christmas tree with all of those presents and want so bad for your child to be there to open them on Christmas morning….only to have to go to your child’s funeral today instead.
I can’t imagine running to a fire station….hoping with every fiber of your being that your child is waiting for you there…..only to read your child’s name on a list and later have to identify their body.
I can’t imagine returning to an empty house, or having to explain to your other children why they can’t play with their brother or sister anymore.
I can’t imagine the grief. The pain. The anger. The chaos. The reporters everywhere wanting a statement….the phone calls from concerned neighbors and extended family members. All the while wondering how in the world a twenty year old man could walk into a school and murder an entire classroom of innocent children along with several staff members.
What happened on Friday was terrible. A special kind of evil visited that school on Friday morning. Our nation has been rocked by a tragedy.
This morning, Fox News had little to say about the victims, but a lot to say about the shooter. Was he mentally ill? Where did he get the weapons? What was his home life like? Should guns be illegal? Politicians are arguing over our right to bear arms. The United Nations thinks we are too liberal with our gun rights. Texas thinks the teachers should be allowed to carry weapons. Gun sales spiked on Friday afternoon and Saturday.
Not that this stuff isn’t important, but I really hope that in the midst of all of this, the American people remember those suffering families. I hope that we take the time to grieve with them. To support them. To pray for them. To remember their loss…long after the reporters have left and the attention is moved to another world crisis.
Sunday morning, our little church did what we Christians are called to do: we wept with those who are weeping. It was a somber worship service, as our Pastor took the stage and talked about what happened on Friday morning. We sang songs as the Holy Spirit led us to. We cried together. We prayed over the families that are so lost in their grief right now. We prayed over the pastors who are trying to lead funeral services and make house calls. We prayed for the service men and women who responded on that day and saw haunting images that will stick in their minds for the rest of their lives.
This is why we are here…..to be God’s hands and feet. To lift one another up in prayer, and to comfort those who are in need. I hope that as we move forward with our individual lives, that we take some time to pray for others as well. As Christmas quickly approaches, followed by New Years, the “fiscal cliff”, and tax season….I hope that we don’t forget the lives that were lost on Friday. I hope that we remember to pray for our nation…..that our country would turn back to God…..that we never have to experience this again…….that the families are comforted as birthdays pass by uncelebrated and holidays pass by with empty seats at the table.
In the midst of this tragedy, we can give thanks that we have a healing Father. A Father who loves us and wants the best for us. A Father who mourns with us in times like this. A Father who is just and wise and directs our path. And we can certainly give thanks that if we call ourselves His, we will see these precious children once more….alive and well.
Lysa Terkeurst wrote a very moving article on how to pray for the families here.
Roo from NiceGirlNotes lives just a few towns away from Newtown. She wrote a very touching article and included links at the end for those who would like to financially support the victims’ families here.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” ~Romans 12:15