I don't have much in the way of words that can express the intensity of the heart ache I have felt since Friday over the tragic school shooting in Newton, Connecticut. I also know that I am far from alone in my confusion and sadness. In my feelings of helplessness and fear. When I think of those scared children, their brave teachers, and their devastated parents, and my heart feels like its going to drop out, two ideas help me to hold it in.
1. Someone posted something on a blog or facebook or something that keeps running through my head...
In every tragedy, look for the helpers.
So I have been looking for the helpers. The first responders, who never in a million years could have imagined that the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary would someday be their responsibility. The teachers who somehow kept their students calm as gunfire rang through their school. The neighbor who took in a handful of kids who had somehow escaped the classroom. It really does help to focus on the people who, in the face of such terror, managed to be brave, and kind, and professional, and generous. As long as those people are among us, there is hope. There is goodness. There is a God. There is Hope
2. Like the parents at Sandy Hook, 911, Columbine, Aurora... The Virgin Mary lost her own Son to cruel, violent, crazy people who killed out of their own fear and inability to grasp reality.
And she is the most elevated of saints. She is the most perfect intercessor to God the Father and to her Son. She understands the pain of mothers everywhere who have lost their children too soon. She understands the pain that I feel even just imagining ever having to say goodbye to my Audrey. As Jesus welcomes children to him, holds them close, and cares for them in Heaven, Mary holds their parents who must live on without them. She is helping me to hold my heart in. Through her, I think I can embrace every day as a parent with joy and happiness, rather than with fear. And as long as we can each find joy and happiness in our own lives, and do what we can to spread it to others, there is a reason to go on each day.
Peace to all of you tonight. If you are a child, call your parents. If you are a parent, hold your children tight. Look for the helpers. Be a helper. Pray.