Saturday, December 15, 2012

We Grieve...

     Yesterday, twenty children died. Twenty kids who hadn't even graduated from elementary school, twenty kids who were loved dearly by their families and community, twenty kids who just  the day before ran and played without a care in the world, gunned down where they stood.

 Yesterday, six adults died. Six mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends; six adults who devoted their lives to teaching and mentoring the future who will never see their work come to fruition; six people who gave all they had for the children they taught.

  We ask how this could have happened. Of all the towns in America Newtown, Connecticut is one of the least touched by crime and poverty, yet is now the site of the worst school shooting in our nation's history. "How is this possible?" we wonder. Of course it was the shooter's fault--Adam Lanza is responsible for every life that passed before his bullets; but we almost want to place the blame elsewhere as well--after all, Americans are normal, stable people. Surely Adam is not solely to blame for this tragedy. It was the legislators who have not passed strict gun laws. It was the US healthcare system for not providing affordable mental counseling. It was Adam's own parents that failed to raise him correctly.

     But why do we need to blame anyone else? This shooting has brought grief to every one of our hearts--why stir up more angst and frustration? For those of you who think this is political fodder, please cease. This is not a "prime piece of evidence for gun control." This is not the platform for more political pontification on our health system. This is where twenty-six innocent souls died. This is where mothers and fathers will never see their children again in this life. This is where children's blood stained the pavement.
     Do not be afraid to mourn those lost.

     Yesterday, I lived life as normal. I spent time with friends; I went and saw a movie; I celebrated this Christmas season with my family. Am I cold? Am I insensitive to the fact that for twenty-six families, Christmas will now be a funeral? Should I have stopped my life because lives ended yesterday? I mourn those killed; I grieve for the families and pray for their loss, however, America, do not be afraid to carry on. Grieve in your hearts but show strength in your actions. If we cease to continue, when shall we begin again? Dedicate the quiet parts of your life to remembering these children and teachers, but do not be afraid to proceed with life.  Courage is rising the the challenge and meeting adversity. Let us meet this adversity with resolve.
     We will remember these dead for decades to come.

     For the families of this tragedy, and all whose hearts were wrenched by this horror--look for hope. Look for peace. Look for joy.
     Look for Christ.
     I don't know why the shooting happened. I don't know how it fits into God's plan. Nay, I do not claim to have the answers. Remember this though: what Christ has to offer is far greater than what you are feeling now. We cannot bring them back...
One of the children wrote this note for his mother the day before dying in the shooting.
...but we can find peace in the arms of Christ.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." 

This sounds like a cliche answer, but it is a true answer. Christ grieves with you over your children. He loved your children. He loved every laugh and smile that came from their lips; He loved every time their eyes lit up with joy.
     America, find commiseration in Christ. He grieves with us today.