I had planned a different post for this weekend, but after yesterday’s horrific news of 27 dead – 20 of them children – at Newton, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School, I knew I had to write something else.
I’m a mother. I’m a grandmother. My oldest grandchild is 5-year old Dawson. Kindergarten age. Like so many murdered in their school classroom. The news crushed my heart. I sat in my living room weeping. I couldn’t catch my breath.
“Dear Jesus,” I repeated. And could find no more words.
Now is the time for prayer. We need to put aside – for a while, maybe for long moments – all the chatter and debate and politics about gun control and legislation and mental health. For now, we need to bow our heads and wrap that community – those moms and dads, those brothers and sisters, those grandmas and grandpas, all those families – with a protective cloak of love and comfort. We are all heartbroken.
And we are angry and confused and fearful. There will be time later for discussions. But we may never know the why of this tragedy, just as so many before.
Let’s think of those children for now. Those small ones. Boys and girls just learning to read, anticipating the joy of Christmas, filled with laughter and energy and hope. Let’s think of the parents. Whose lives will never be the same, who will soon be picking out coffins and not stocking stuffers. Who will endure a season of unwrapped gifts and a lifetime of unfulfilled dreams.
For now, let us hold a shield against the memory of that violence; let us hold up the beauty that was in these small lives. Let us remember the dedication and enthusiasm of those teachers and educators.
We need to pray. For the hearts that were lost. For a sacred moment.