Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ramblings on the Senselessness of Yesterday's Tragedy

If your like me, it's hard to even put yesterday's events into words, and yet at the same time, I find that I can't stop talking about them, so that Paul's already exhausted eyes were glazed over by bedtime last night (which was eight o'clock for him after a couple weeks of hardly sleeping) because I'd blabbed on and on since we first saw the report that said "a kindergarten class is unaccounted for."  

Every time I saw a new update on what happened in Newtown Connecticut I'd start up again, as if I had to share.  I found myself shake my head with fresh tears welling up because the whole thing was just so horrible.  Until I had to stop talking when we were out in town and I tried to share something with Paul that I'd seen on the news ticker of a TV high up on a wall and felt tears threatening to fall if I didn't stop and take a deep breath and tilt my head back and hope that they just stayed put.  And that in itself was bizarre for me, because in the whole of my life I can't ever remember crying about a disaster... I find myself sorrowful for those involved and feeling absolutely terrible about what happened, but at the same time removed enough that I just usually don't cry.  

But this time it was different... maybe because I have an almost four and a half year old now and while I just can't imagine what those parents were and are going through, I can almost imagine and almost-imagining it takes my breath away.  

When it happens in high schools it's just as horrible, but somehow it's slightly less shocking because high school is tough and kids are bullied and some are cruel and it's not all that hard to imagine someone just snapping and lashing out... but little kids who are hardly more than babies, slain by an adult?  The sickening idea of this sort of violence becomes even more impossible to fathom.  

When it happens with students who are older we hope that there are policies that can be enacted to ensure that this sort of thing never happens... but when it's a mad man lashing out at small children it's hard not to feel helpless.  Sure there are things that can be done to make areas more secure, but we can't guard everywhere... and that makes this all the more frightening.   

The realization that this sort of evil exists, that people are capable of this, is staggering.

Again and again I  find myself asking: How could someone do this? knowing that the answer is that it's because there is evil in the world and insanity... because people are broken and lash out, destroying the beauty around them.  

And so we pray, because there's little else we can do.  We hug our children tightly and give thanks that they are safe in our arms, knowing all the while that we will be sending them out into a world where this type of thing feels more and more common.  With hope we teach them to love, praying that they will shine the light of God's love into this broken world, but also knowing that our world as it is now will never be perfect and that there will always be pain this side of heaven.... and if you're like me you find yourself rambling on and on about the tragedy, hoping that somehow talking about it will make it make sense... even while knowing that it is entirely senseless...  

Prayers for all the people affected by this horrible tragedy...


  1. I myself didn't find out about this tragedy until my mother called to tell me in the afternoon -- AFTER I had picked up my kindergartner from his morning session.

    I've been in my son's kindergarden classroom multiple times this school year to help with projects, always seeing those small, bright shiny smiles and faces...

    I just can't imagine .... how it happened? Why it happened? I've prayed hard for their little souls, but I've prayed harder for the parents and families who have to continue on...

    After reading my son a story last night, I held him until he fell asleep, then quietly cried and thanked God for my blessings...


  2. Amen Cam! I have a Kindergartenet and a 2nd grader (my only 2 in school so far) and when I heard the news that most of the children dead were in one Kindergarten class I couldn't breath! I was literally hyperventilating! All I could see was my son's sweet face! I just don't understand! I am so scared for my kids andthismuchcloser to homeschooling!! "For the sake of his sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world!"

  3. Probably comments from the pulpit in my church today were echoed in churches across the country, as were prayers. And then this afternoon I heard how someone called a threat in to a local church there, so everyone had to leave for a while. (And somewhere the caller is probably celebrating his celebrity status on Facebook.)

    So much of this event, and our culture gives me sadness. And then I noticed the reading this morning from Philippians: Rejoice in the Lord, always. Do not be anxious.

    For some reason something I had forgotten came back to my mind, and I recalled an earlier grade school slaughter, in an Amish village. There, the people also gathered together in their grief, but one of the first things they did was to assemble in their church --- and pray for the killer.

    Community, family, together in good and bad, "in all things rejoice." But it's hard, through the tears.

  4. Yes, the Amish Village you refer to is in Nickel Mines in PA (about 45 min. from where I am).

    I too remembered that tragedy, since it hit so close to my own home, and the Amish are prevalent here. I remember how the Amish gathered around the shooter's family and prayed with them, telling them they did nothing wrong.

    I pray for those who lost their lives and for those who live on. I pray for the shooter's family, because they not only lost people dear to them, but now have to live with a public stigma that will surely follow, and they did nothing wrong to earn that stigma. And after I pray to God to help me forgive, maybe one day I will pray for the shooter's soul.

    It will be hard sending my kids on the bus tomorrow morning, but at least my head knows that I can't keep them under lock and key forever (although my heart would very much like to do that).


  5. It is things like this that provide the starkest reminder that this word is NOT our home.

    And that the human heart is capable of such evil, we all need God’s saving grace to redeem us.

    In the midst of this tragedy, however, does anyone else feel a sense of discord when many of the politicians publicly weeping over the killing of 20 innocent 6 and 7 year olds actively work to continue the annual murder of a million unborn babies – one of the few population I can think of more innocent and helpless than those killed in CT.



I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!