Our hearts, as a nation in mourning, sank to new depths today. When innocent children and adults are sacrificed to the ills of our world, I’m sickened and saddened to an unfathomable degree.
Even in an idylic place, as Newton has been described, even in this haven, a town is plunged into mourning… and we grieve with them.
I can’t help but pause.
Pause and ask questions. Why did this happen? Who would do this? How did people miss how dangerous this person was? Is it possible to prevent a disturbed person from doing this again? How? Where is it safe?…
Pause and agree with texts and posts about hugging our kids a little more often, a little longer. Saying “I love you” often.
Pause and appreciate what (and who) we have in our lives, instead of complaining about what (and who) we don’t have.
Pause and prioritize. What really matters here? Did I have to get that upset over the bakery items I bought, left, and can’t go back for?
Pause and grieve with families like our own, who were going about their usual day when for them, the unimaginable happened. We grieve because we connect with humanity, knowing it can happen to any of us and sorry it had to happen to anyone at all.
Pause and pray. This is not a ritual. It’s recognizing that we are small and God is big enough to care for our pains. And God is great enough to bring light into a horrid mess, that is us.
In the weeks to come, many will pause to find answers and a truer picture of the details will emerge. To pause for personal reflection could also be a benefit.
Wise gun control laws are surely one part of the solution. But there’s another part, perhaps an even bigger part… our personal responsibility, not just on how guns are handled but how our relationships are handled.
Are we loving those who are close to us, knowing they are with us for a time and in our care, on loan from God? Are we loving the community around us — the people who happen into our lives, near and far — who because of our kindness can change the trajectory of their lives for the better.
Because grieving comes in waves, may we take the crests of our sadness and mold them into good.
And may the good people in and around Sandy Hook, and those however connected to them, know God’s peace in a time that is humanly impossible to bear.