I have struggled since Friday to try to put my feelings into words concerning the horrific tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook School. This morning I read my friend Nicole's post addressing the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy and knew that I had to share it with my followers. On many days, Nicole can be counted on for a great laugh combined with just the right amount of snark, but she is also an amazing writer as you are about to see. If you have a chance, stop by and visit her at Three 31.
God’s Heart Broke First
My heart was not the first to break when I learned of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I was not the first person to cry or get angry either. I cannot imagine the insurmountable pain that families and friends of victims are facing in these difficult times.
I think God’s heart was the first to break … even before the first shot was fired.
As soon as I opened Facebook on Friday, my screen was flooded with messages of sympathy, condolences, and some casting judgement. I think the majority of the messages unknowingly cause more pain and distress. I think they are making the situation worse by portraying God as a heartless entity who allows the murder of children. I am not professing to have all the answers, but I don’t agree with this portrayal of God at all. I am, at best, a human struggling to live the best life I can in a world full of strife and discontent.
I don’t believe in a God who kills people to fill some roster of angels in heaven. I think really bad things happen when other people make really bad decisions.
I don’t believe in a God who allows (or wills) tragedies to happen. The God that I believe in is heart-broken before we are.
While I am in support of proper registration and background checks of gun owners, outbursts about gun control after tragedies really anger me. I am a gun owner. But are senseless acts of violence a gun control issue or a mental health issue? Or, do we have security issues in need of attention?
I am also an airline traveler. When I go to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, before boarding a plane, I go through a complete security checkpoint. The majority of the time, I am scanned in a big machine looking for hidden items (i.e. weapons) under my clothing. I recently attended a music concert where every person entering had to be scanned by law enforcement officers before passing the entry gate. The same thing happened at the American Airlines Center in Dallas for a women’s conference. I am not offended by the security measures taken at airports and some public facilities, why should schools be any different? Has our society become so complacent that schools are not perceived as dangerous enough? I am not a parent, but I am an educator. I could have been one of the eight teachers killed in Connecticut. Regardless, I support the installation of metal detectors at schools to ensure the safety of students, teachers and visitors.
I don’t understand the convoluted logic behind tragic events like in Newtown, CT or Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or the Sikh Temple, or the shopping mall in Oregon. I don’t know the answer to “why” either. But I know these three things to be capital “Tee” truths:
- Murder is not acceptable.
- It’s OK to be angry and confused.
- Humans need connectedness. We need support and time to grieve.
Thank you, Nicole for allowing me to share your post - saying what I believe many others are probably feeling as well, but maybe like me, were unable to put into words.
And finally, one of the things I enjoy most about blogging, is the incredible sense of community. Let's band together and do what we can to help, as well as show our respect for the victims and the families that are mourning those that they have lost.
On Tuesday, December 18th, there will be a blogger day of silence. We will post the button and that's it. Please try to not post anything else that day if possible.
We are also raising money that will go to an organization in the memory of this tragedy. The organization is called The Newtown Family Youth and Family Services.
Here is the official description of the support service we are donating to:
"Newtown Youth and Family Services, Inc. is a licensed, non-profit, mental health clinic
and youth services bureau dedicated to helping children and families achieve their
highest potential. NYFS provides programs, services, activities, counseling, support
groups and education throughout the Greater Newtown area.
ANY DONATIONS MADE TO NEWTOWN YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES WILL BE DONATED DIRECTLY TO THOSE EFFECTED BY THE SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SHOOTING."
Please visit THIS PAGE to make your donation.
We can't imagine how they must be feeling, especially this close to the holidays. We would love for you to spread the word on your own blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Let's make a difference and use blogging in a positive way.
Thank you in advance for participating.
The Blog World
P.S. If you would like to, copy-paste and repost any part of this, please do. Share on.