Right now, the news and our thoughts and prayers continue for Newtown, Connecticut. There are many discussions right now, from gun control, mental health issues, security in schools, trying to figure out why the shooter did what he did, etc. I think those are all important discussions to be had, I really do. But right now, I really don't want to hear any of it. I respect those that do, and if they want to, that is fine. But I just don't.
The first thing I thought of when I heard about this tragedy was the little children in that school on that day. It didn't seem real, even from all the way across the country here in the Midwest. My son is nearly 3, and will be heading to pre-school before we know it. I really wanted to leave work, drive to my in-laws and just hold him in my arms, tell him that I love him, and not let go. I cannot imagine, nor do I want to try, what these past few days have been like for the parents, families and friends of the young children who died. Or for the children from Sandy Hook who survived it. Who knows what awful things they saw, heard, and will remember for the rest of their lives. The teachers and staff who were at the school, all heroic in a moment when there was no time to think. Some of them died as well.
In the middle of all of this, watching news report after news report, reading facebook post after facebook post, combing website after website for information on this absolute tragedy - the thought that keeps coming into my head is simple. This is a time for us to come together. As families, as communities, as a nation, as people. We need to lift up the town of Newtown in our prayers - they need them now more than ever. We need to hug our kids and tell them we love them. We need to stop taking each other for granted and remember that life is so short. Life is finite. It ends. Sometimes we live our lives like it doesn't. This sounds so cliche', but there is so much truth to it - the world needs love, and more of it. Hug your kids and tell them you love them. Tell the people in your life that you care about how you feel about them. Do things to let them know they matter to you.
Also, pray for teachers, educators, parents, schools and anyone working with children. There are some tough questions that are going to be asked, and some difficult discussions to be had. Pray that God gives those folks the right words to say to help them through this dark time in our country.
I had the privilege of leading worship at my church this past Sunday, along with a wonderful group of people. As I looked out into the seats at the faces of people who were there, there was just this heaviness and sadness. This tragedy has had an impact on everyone. It's hard to wrap our minds around what happened. But, it was there that, as we worshipped and praised God, the air became maybe just a little bit lighter, and hope started to creep in. I could see it in people's faces, some singing, some raising their arms, some crying, some closing their eyes, some standing in silence. There is a hope greater than any we can possibly imagine. For those that died in Newtown, I believe they are already experiencing it.
There Will Be A Day
Revelation 21:4 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."