I, like countless people spent a pretty blue weekend. Yet I, like the majority of those who watched the horrific events as they unfolded was able to turn off the television set and for a few hours busy myself with errands and family matters. Not so for those not only affected by the recent tragedy in Connecticut, but those who have been impacted by past tragedies (memories once again stirred, pain revisited)…Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and many other senseless shootings that pepper our newscasts causing us to catch our breaths once again, hug our babies once again and sadly call out to God, in some cases, only once….again.
It really angers me to hear the same people who only call out to God in order to “damn” Him now blame Him, question Him, ridicule those who still believe in Him. The same ones who disallow Him, exclude Him, want Him out of our schools, off of our money, separated from our governmental affairs are now wondering where He was.
I have a very good idea of His whereabouts…as seen in the actions of those in and near that school. He was in the courage displayed by the principal to stare down the shooter and shout a warning to her teachers both verbally and in her wisdom to keep the intercom open giving her teachers time to protect their children; He was in the courage displayed by those teachers who gave their lives to protect their children; who did not allow fear to paralyze them into nonaction, but were able to protect and distract their children; who were able to usher their children to safety; He was in the school secretary who set aside her fear in order to make the 911 call (that act alone saved hundreds of lives); He was in the first responders who like the heroes they are, ran into the building while others ran out; and He remains to comfort and console those whose lives are left shattered by this evil.
No one will ever be able to offer a satisfactory response as to why God would allow such an act . I certainly could provide a scriptural response, but would it bring peace to those whose peace has been fractured? Maybe in time…but the question would remain….why their baby? Would it bring understanding to those who don’t believe? How can you explain the unexplainable, make sense of the senseless, conceive of the inconceivable? How can you console the inconsolable? There are no words…not mine anyway!
I do know this….the enemy aimed straight at our hearts with this one. It was only 13 years ago that Columbine was in the news…when the unimaginable stopped the nation in its tracks as we became voyeurs to that tragedy and it seems that the enemy took his “game” up a notch when evil struck at Virginia Tech and if that wasn’t horrific enough (that event garnering the title of the deadliest school shooting in our nation’s history), the enemy, lest we think it can’t get any worse, pays a visit to the most innocent of them all.
I hate that this past weekend I had to have a conversation with my kids about steps to take in the event of a public emergency; I hate that this world has become so dark; I hate that for months we will be discussing gun control and mental illness as if any human will be able to put a plug in the many holes that have been drilled into the fabric of this society. I hate to say that I hate that God will once again be shelved after the media goes on to the next big calamity and the churches empty once again.
I hate that there are 20 families left having to explain the effects of evil to their surviving children; I hate that there may be families whose only child was stolen from them; I hate that it took 11 minutes for hundreds of children to have their innocence stripped away. I hate that there are 27 families (including that of the shooter) who are mourning during this Christmas season. I hate that there are families who are once again reliving their own personal nightmare.
This morning I did what I do every morning. I woke my babies up, combed my daughter’s hair, got breakfast and did the most important thing I believe I could do for them….I laid my hands on each of them and prayed that the angel of the Lord would protect them, go before them; I prayed that the wisdom from above which is pure and peaceable would be in them and that no weapon formed against them would prosper.
I hate that 20 moms won’t be able to do the same today, but instead will be making plans to bury their babies.
I’m praying for God’s peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding…that it would guard our hearts and minds; that it would guard the hearts and minds of those affected by this tragedy and of those who have been on the mend….that they maintain their peace; that we would rise up as a nation and release the word of God over our government, our schools, our churches, our neighborhoods; that we not allow fear to disable us; I pray a hedge of protection around our children and loved ones. I’m praying that the God of comfort would show Himself strong in the lives of those who are hurting; I’m praying for healing. God, heal our land.