It is with a heavy heart that I write this post. The names of the children and adults who had their lives so unjustly taken from them in Newtown, Connecticut have been posted. The children were ages six and seven. Yes, six and seven.
I have been affected by these tragedies such as the shootings at Columbine, movie premieres, political gatherings, and so many more. It never ceases to amaze and bewilder me the type of evil and hurting that is present in our world. These tragedies have made me stop and watch the news, say a quiet prayer for the victims and their families, but eventually, the news fades, and I move on. I say, “oh yes, that was horrible,” when the media reminds us of the day with an anniversary feature on the event, but honestly, I’ve become jaded.
Last night, I watched the news, holding my son tight, kissing him repeatedly throughout the report. Last night, I watched the news and cried. Yesterday, 20 children lost their lives. Yesterday, too many families received the news that they need to bury their babies.
I’m not a kid person, never have been. Yes, I wanted a family and children of my own, but I’m not much for other people’s kids. I’m introverted and self-conscious, so I’m definitely not one to jump up and volunteer to sit at the kid’s table. I would much rather observe others running around playing games, letting their inner child shine. I babysat twice in high school and hated it both times. I never volunteered to work in the nursery at my church, and was never one to purposely put myself in situations in which lots of children were present. Because of this, I don’t think I could have ever understood the gravity of this tragedy if I was not a parent myself. Of course I would have thought it was horrible, anything involving the harm of innocent life is deeply unsettling. But to be a mother, to know the love that a parent has for their child, and to imagine what it must be like to know that your baby is gone, it’s unbearable. Not only was it unbearable to hear that 20 children and 7 adults lost their lives so unfairly, but to know that the innocence of the other children that were fortunate enough to return home that evening, has been forever altered, it’s unspeakable.
I understand that these events lead to many discussions on political issues like gun control, help for the mentally ill, security in schools, homeschooling versus public education, etc., etc. These discussions are important and crucial toward making our country a safer place, especially for the innocent. I am not politically driven and usually keep my opinions to myself. However, the one thing I do want to express is the importance and power of prayer. We must pray for our country, for it’s leaders (whether or not you voted them in). We must pray that the discussions to follow this devastating event are productive. But most importantly, we must pray that Christ would bring peace, and remind us all of the hope that we have in Him. Without this, we have nothing.
Please do not forget December 14, 2012. Please. If you have children, hug them tight. Not just today or tomorrow, but every day. Tell you love them, repeatedly. Do not take the small things for granted. Do this for the mothers and fathers who no longer have that privilege. Do this for the parents that will be facing this holiday season with one less at their table this year. Do this for Charlotte. For Daniel. For Olivia and Josephine. For Ana, Dylan, Rachel, and Dawn. For Madeline, Catherine, Chase, and Jesse. For James. For Grace, Nancy, Anne, and Emilie. For Jack, Noah, Caroline, and Jessica. For Avielle. For Lauren, Mary, Victoria, and Benjamin, and for Allison.