As I am learning more about the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut, its victims, young and old, their names, ages and what those last minutes entailed inside Sandy Hook Elementary I'm saddened and shocked. I'm in a state of disbelief, like the entire country. I cannot believe another school shooting, rather massacre, has occurred. Not to mention, the amount of lives lost and the fact that their mostly children is crazy.
School has always been a place where we all have felt safe attending and sending our children to. Right now, we all are questioning whether this is true anymore. In my personal experience and career, as a “visitor”, in Elementary, Middle and High Schools, all over the state, the procedures set in place have been consistent and followed. It was made very clear on the news that what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary was not due to a lack of compliance with regulations, safety or procedures not being followed. These children were very much protected by the safety procedures set in place in the school and the brave, dedicated teachers that followed the procedures they had learned and practiced with their students…often. As I listened to the tiny voices and saw the innocent children that survived, sharing in detail the events they had overcome, praising teachers for saving their lives and sighing with relief brought goose bumps to my entire body.
Then, Sandy Hook's courageous and amazing Principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who jeopardized her own life to save these children and co-workers is simply remarkable. She prepared her teachers and children with the tools needed if ever faced with danger. The required procedures and precautions were clearly set in place. Sadly, this corrupt individual was on a calculated mission that targeted our most vulnerable and helpless victims. He was leaving a mark on this community, country and our hearts, without any question. The problem I'm having, like everyone, is this corrupt act was so horrific, that it seems impossible to ever digest.
How do we rise up? Most of all heal and move forward after a tragedy of this magnitude?
In the midst of tragedy, it's natural to feel a deep sadness, burning anger and overwhelming grief, to say the least. It's hard to believe you'll ever heal and live life again, because life as you knew it will never be the same. It hurts! We search for answers and someone to blame for what has occurred. All too often, our feelings are misdirected and the blame falls unfairly on someone and many times that someone is God, which is easy to do, because He's not here to defend Himself.
How could God allow this corrupt individual to invade a school and kill 26 innocent victims? 20 of them children!
What’s important to remember during these tragic times is that God doesn’t allow or make these things happen. He gives us choices. It ultimately comes down to us as humans and the choices we make. My faith guarantees me that God is saddened as much, if not more, over the losses we encounter here on Earth, today and always. In this case, this was one person's fault and his alone...the merciless shooter.
Something to think about...
If someone prays for patience; does God give them patience? No. He gives them an opportunity to be patient. If someone prays for courage; does God give them courage? No. He gives them an opportunity to be courageous. What if someone prays for their family to be closer? Does God give them feelings of closeness & being loved, like a family does? The answer is still NO. He gives them an opportunity to love each other. These gifts, "open doors" of opportunities, are before us more than ever before.
With all the tragedy around us today, think about Sandy Hook Elementary victim’s courageousness, the community coming together and focus on the opportunities that were spent...amazingly too many to count! As this investigation goes on, hopefully our questions will be answered, our fears subsided and our broken hearts begin to mend.
“My deepest sympathy goes out to Newtown, Connecticut for the unbearable loss that they’re enduring now and forever. God Bless and look over these families that are without their precious little ones and the little ones that have lost their protectors, just a week before, one of the most joyous times of year. As it states on a sign near Sandy Hook Elementary tonight...“Our Hearts are broken…Our Spirits are Strong”. You will forever be in our hearts Newtown!”