So. Much. To. Blog. So much, in fact, that I feel overwhelmed. I'm going to take it one blog post at a time for now.
So, this post: The tragedy of Friday.
Horrific. Heart-breaking. Terrifying. Sad. Upsetting. Unforgettable. Indescribable.
Words seem so weak and insignificant.
I didn't really hear about it until after school on Friday. And even then, I didn't fully know what happened until I got home. Sitting in the kitchen with my roommates, we read articles on our phones, talked about what happened, and cried. Lots of tears.
I cried for the first graders that were murdered. Lives ended way too young. I cried for the parents who dropped their children off fully expecting to pick them up after school. I cried for the last view those parents had of their babies, carrying over-sized backpacks on their tiny shoulders as they climbed onto big yellow buses or skipped up the sidewalk into Sandy Hook Elementary. I cried for the teachers, some of whom literally gave up their lives to protect their kids. Others who comforted and silenced elementary schoolers as they hid in fear. I cried for the principal who died trying to protect the kids at her school. I cried tears of thanks because I know that my principal would do the same. Every day he ends the moment of silence with "may a hedge of protection surround our building." I cried for the siblings of the first graders. The ones in the school with them. My brother and I shared our schools all the way up to college. I can't imagine the thoughts running through the older siblings' heads as they hid and worried about their younger brothers and sisters. I cried for the first people on the scene. I cried for the shock and horror they found themselves in. I cried for my own second graders. I imagined them in that situation. I cried for their fear. For their terror. I cried for the loss of innocence. I cried for this world. I cried for the pain and the brokenness of it. I cried for the homesickness of heaven.
I am a hopeless optimist. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. I "assume the best in people" (there's a little giggle for those of you who read this and really know about recent events in my life...). But it's true. I'm always looking for the good spin on things.
But this I want to feel. I want to continue to feel this literal, physical pain in my heart. I want to look at the faces of the tiny victims and have tears well up. I don't want to grow numb to this. I want to feel it. Deep in my being I want this to effect me.
I love what I do. In fact, early on Friday morning I sent a text to my mom that said, "How is it possible to love other peoples' children this much?" I love these kids. Every single one of them. Every day I do my best to give my best to these kids. Part of the mission statement at our school says, "Today I will do my best to be the best. What I do today will make a difference..." I believe it is true. I believe what we do today, and every day will make a difference. May we chose to make it a difference for the better.
In wake of this tragedy, I want to remember to fully feel the weight of my own sin. I don't know how to comfort people. I don't know if there is any comfort available in this world. Our comfort will come later. I want to feel the hurt of this world. But I also want to cling to the goodness of our Savior. I want to do what I can to bridge the gap between this world and the next. The one I hope and long for. I want to do what I can to love those God has put in my life. I will hug my second graders a little tighter. I will speak words of truth to them. I will tell them they matter and they can make a positive difference in this world. My life is lived in my self-consumed bubble. But I hope to reach out of it and touch some lives. I hope that through these second graders I spend all day with, I will be able to expand God's love and goodness. I want to love them, and everyone, unselfishly. I want to love deeply. This world is not safe. And it is not always good. But God is always good. Always.
Christmas is approaching. There will be gifts under the tree for the six and seven year olds that will remain unopened. There will be countless broken hearts this Christmas. And so, as we are called to, I will weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. I will look this event square in the eyes and feel it. And I will hope in Christ. I will continue to trust in His goodness. And I will be thankful for His unending grace and mercy that I am always in need of. And I will remember that God wins. In the end, through it all, He is with us. He is Immanuel.