As I watch a news update on the Sandy Hooks Elementary school shooting, I can hardly breathe. My brain spins in circles, thinking I am still dreaming and that this can’t be real.
I know there are simply no words to sum up anything that occurred on this horrific day this past Friday. There are no words that can accurately describe the pain that these families are going through right now and the fear that still consumes those children who witnessed this tragedy.
I didn’t watch any coverage all weekend because I just couldn’t. It hurt too badly. The pain was just too real as I saw men crying their eyes out as they realized their precious little girl would no longer be coming home. I didn’t want to hear about or be reminded of this evil, terrible story.
But as today went on, my heart was pressed to fervently pray for these families by name, and to take the time to honor these children by learning about their legacies.
Angel Charlotte Bacon – 2/22/06
Angel Daniel Barden – 9/25/05
Angel Olivia Engel – 7/18/06
Angel Josephine Gay – 12/11/05
Angel Ana Marquez-Greene – 04/04/06
Angel Dylan Hockley – 03/08/06
Angel Madeleine Hsu 07/10/06
Angel Catherine Hubbard 06/08/06
Angel Chase Kowalski – 10/31/05
Angel Jesse Lewis – 06/30/06
Angel James Mattioli – 03/22/07
Angel Grace McDonnell – 11/04/05
Angel Emilie Parker – 05/12/06
Angel Jack Pinto – 05/06/06
Angel Noah Pozner – 11/20/06
Angel Caroline Previdi – 09/07/06
Angel Jessica Rekos – 05/10/06
Angel Avielle Richman – 10/17/06
Angel Benjamin Wheeler – 09/12/06
Angel Allison Wyatt – 07/03/06
And the heroic teachers that saved the lives of so many little ones:
Angel Lauren Russeau 06/82
Angel Anne Marie Murphy 07/25/60
Angel Mary Sherlach – 0/11/56
Angel Victoria Soto – 11/05/85
Angel Dawn Hocksprung – 06/28/65
Angel Rachel Davino – 7/17/83
These precious children were taken far too soon. As I typed each one of their birthdays, my heart just bursts with anger and sadness and pain.
SO SOON. Too soon. Unfair. Jesus, why? I do not get it.
I do not think we ever will. No matter what the investigations determine or what new discovery is made in this case, nothing will be enough.
But I do know that this evil, tragic and horrific situation will be used for the good.
I know seeing the “positive” side to this situation seems almost wrong because there was just so much evil present here. But it is the truth that our loving God promises: He will always take what Satan intends for evil and turn it into good.
Something He also promises is that His kingdom is especially reserved for the little children J
Children are His heart. Their innocence and childlike faith make His heart smile.
“And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” –Matthew 18:3
Little children, like so many did in this incident, listen with whole hearts and believe with a blind faith.
Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world….the song…it reigns true.
And these incredible teachers, who risked their own lives to save the lives of their students. Jesus, may we all be more like them.
Hearing their stories of heroism and sacrifice, my mind races to think, “Would you have done that?”
May we seek to check on the needs of our neighbors before we satisfy our own needs. May we love with a love that does not allow us to react out of fear but a brave spirit that seeks to protect those around us.
Jesus, thank you for these heroes and the gentle young lives that they preserved.
I do not pretend to understand this heart-wrenching pain that these parents are having to endure, as I am not a mother myself. Nor do I pretend to understand the sadness that consumes the families of these brilliant teachers whose lives were taken. I can’t even imagine it nor do I think I could comprehend it even if I tried.
But I do know that these parents and families need and deserve our prayers, our support, our love, our encouragement and our time. I pray that we give them all of that and more.
But more importantly than the community and the world huddling around them, I pray that the King of Kings wraps them in an everlasting comfort that exceeds the sadness and pain their hearts are feeling.
I pray that these sweet angels are remembered forever, as footprints that while still very small, made such an impact on this Earth.
I pray that these incredible, courageous teachers are examples of how we must love one another- without expectation or hesitation.
I pray that it does not take deathly circumstances for us to love like we should, like little children- blindly and beautifully.
Jesus, evil seems so rampant. So obvious. So apparent. So prevalent these days. It seems far too crazy, the world that we live in.
But I pray, deeply and continually, that our response to such events as the Sandy Hooks shooting, is not fear but love.
Jesus, I know you have 20 new little angels and 6 other teacher angels helping you set up class in Heaven right now.
While those here miss them, I thank you that every single color crayon is offered in Heaven, even the skin tone ones that are hard to find in the box.
To the sweet angels up in Heaven right now, you will always be remembered. Your brave spirits and your sweet faces will not ever be forgotten.
Rest in His Peace.