Note: This post was not easy to write, but it was necessary to write. I needed to process this horrific tragedy. I needed, at least for my very small, considerably insignificant part, to bring some good out of the senseless.
People going about their morning just like every other morning with no knowledge of the horribly unordinary day that lies ahead of them. The school nurse at Sandy Hook said the day started with “comforting routine.” Yet, a day that started as “just another day” changed so many lives… no more ordinary days for so many people.
While I have watched the newscasts, the pictures replayed in my mind are not of reality. I picture my boys’ school. I picture how a gunman might go in, how he might plan to kill there. How someone might take “just another day” and turn it into a day of infamy in my own life.
I don’t know how families and communities move on after something like this.
As I watched the developments in the story, my thankfulness for all of the ordinary days I’ve had and all of the ones to come have increased. More than ever before, I am cognizant of evil and its ability to destroy any semblance of a “normal day” for the rest of a person’s life.
Virtually every TV news show tells the story anew each day as the pieces of the story come together. I want to turn away because it’s so horribly sad. But, I don’t turn away because the families of 26 people – 20 young children – can’t ever turn away. Somehow, watching and feeling grief – though comparably minuscule – gives me some way of showing support and sympathy.
Refuse to Fear
I’m not going to try to make any sense of why anyone would murder 1st graders. The topic of gun control perplexes me. So does wondering about the cause of a demented mind. Complex. Controversial. Complicated.
But I refuse to have fear! The only fear that drives me is fear of the Lord, because His perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Where Was God?
In this Psalm, the writer remembers past victories and blessings from God. He then moves into and ends with wondering where God is as people go through tremendous suffering. That’s it. No explanation as to why God seems distant and even absent and why He doesn’t move to change the situation.
I feel that way today. I know that God has done amazing things in the past and wonder how He could have allowed this to happen. Why didn’t He stop it? I know He could have. Like the Psalmist, I end my pleas without specific answers; at least, not tangible answers that make everything okay again.
No Other Comfort
Romans 8 offers comfort and hope. As a Christian, I know that sin does not have control over me. Not my sin, not anyone else’s sin (v. 3). I find comfort in knowing that God knows what it’s like for a parent to have a child murdered (v. 31). Though I may sometimes feel God is distant in times of suffering, I know that my feelings often deceive me. If my feelings were accurate, the God’s Word wouldn’t be. Therefore, I rely on knowing that NOTHING separates me from Him (vv. 35-37).
Though my processing of the Sandy Hook tragedy comes with personal struggle, I realize that my own struggle pales and even disappears in comparison to those who are personally living this tragedy. Yet, I also know that processing this for me means preparing for future suffering in my own life.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.
But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 – NLT)