I've been thinking all day about what to say about the horrific mass murder of children and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. How do we wrap our minds around the fact that some madmad -- practically a kid himself -- became the monster, the boogeyman, of childhood nightmares, then forced his way into their safe haven and shot them systematically? Twenty little children, babies really, have been slaughtered before their lives began.... How do we comprehend the incomprehensible?
I have no words of wisdom to share. There are no answers to insanity. I wish I had the power to ensure that this will never happen again, but I feel powerless. The sad fact is, this will happen again...and again...and again....We live in such a fallen world, and evil resides here among us. Evil is real and vicious, unpredictable and everywhere. It roams throughout our world looking for innocence to devour. We cannot lock it out of our lives, we cannot protect the ones we love. Evil knows exactly which weapons to wield to wound us to our very core.
I have been witness to the immense outpouring of a bottomless pool of love from very good and caring people. Strangers to those who grieve in Connecticut have grieved along with them. Wherever we were, we wept together, we prayed together, and we continue to pray. We have poured out our love as a balm on those who are in pain. We feel helpless, and do not know what to do to relieve this enormous weight of suffering, and so we offer the only thing that we have -- our love. Those children were our children, and those faculty were our family, and we shed tears and mourn them as our own. We are all one in crying out to our God in pain and grief.
Today I watched in awestruck wonder as the father of one of the victims spoke to the world about his daughter. Before he described Emilie, the joy of his life, Robby Parker talked of how he and his family sent their love to the other families -- and most amazing of all, to the family of the shooter. He said he was not angry. I believe he is telling the truth. He holds no hate in his heart.
I realized when I saw him, struggling in his own terrible grief but reaching out to others, that I was watching a truly courageous and beautiful thing -- a faith in action. Not just lip service, but a living, active faith, a faith that has held steadfast in the darkest moment of despair. I was seeing someone walk the walk. I was seeing, simply, the face of Christ.
Evil has dealt us a devastating blow, but evil did not win. Evil will not win. No matter how it tries to deliver the death blow to conquer us all, no matter how many times we stagger, falling to our knees, we will not be vanquished. Evil cannot triumph over the goodness and love and heart of humanity. We will continue to love, we will continue to forgive, we will continue to reach for one another and clasp hands and pray. No matter what we suffer together, our love for one another will always prevail. It is all we have, but it is everything we need for victory.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." -- Matthew 5:4
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever." -- Revelation 21:4
"Three things will last forever -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love." -- 1 Corinthians 13:13
You can help the victims of Sandy Hook here.