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...