Following the horrors of the Connecticut shooting, I find myself nearly-speechless but searching for healing words, like so many others.
I was shocked to realize that my response to this tragedy was remarkably similar to my reaction on 9/11. That day, I simply watched the news on loop a few times, and slept. The sense of being overwhelmed exhausted me. I could not bear consciousness. I sought refuge in rest. I escaped because my one healing escape–words–could not possibly help me work through the senseless violence.
Yesterday, I did basically the same thing. I hid. I blocked out the news. I read no reports and I ignored my Facebook feed. I kissed my children. I read them stories and I thanked God that my husband agreed to let me homeschool. Regardless of personal beliefs on homeschooling vs. public education, I know with certainty that I would not have been able to send my precious baby back to school again after this.
I didn’t tell my 6-year-old about the shooting. I’m still not sure how, or if I should. I want him to have a childhood, the childhood that was ripped from those tiny lives 1,000 miles away. I want him to roam and explore, to learn and grow without this ache that reveals itself to me again and again: Our world is broken. No one has any idea how to repair it.
I believe in God. I believe in purpose and intent. I believe in evil. I believe in malice, and madness, and pain. On days like this, I’m not sure how these things are reconciled. I cannot say that this was somehow God’s plan. I cannot see the sense or purpose in the loss of so many, so young. All I can say is that we will see the Creator’s force in the healing that will eventually come to the families and the nation. There is order in that. A predictable, comforting pattern that follows such pain. We can all look forward to the day when the pain lessens, though is not forgotten, and the confusion is cleared.
That day is a long-time coming for the survivors, and even further away for those who lost loved ones, but I believe it will come.
The only words I have found that touch how I feel today, or how I felt the day before came from this article, written by a very talented friend of mine, Collin Reischman. Though I don’t always agree with his sentiments on political issues, there is no denying the beauty and wisdom of his words. Please take the time to read his full article here.
NATION LOSES CHILDREN, HEAVEN RECEIVES NEW ANGELS
“It’s not the newsreel images of bodies under cloth or weeping survivors or helicopter footage of a tightly controlled crime scene that stay with me. What really hangs with me — the stuff that won’t leave — is the notion that there is no end in sight. More specifically, it’s the idea that we live in this permanent state of semi-war, with no exit strategy and no solution on the table…
There will be a chorus of new angels in the streets of Heaven tonight. Their wings will be smaller than the others, matching their tiny bodies. Their welcome in Heaven will be more grand than any saint, not for the lives they led, but for the lives they might have had.”
I think that says it all.