I cannot know or even guess what the parents who lost their children in Newtown must feel. How can they put away the gifts bought for their children for Hanukkah? Or those packages, unopened under the tree? How do they face the closets filled with clothes their babies will no longer wear or the toys they played with only days earlier?
And those children who faced the horror of hearing other children being shot or who witnessed the murder of their teacher or ran past bodies as they escaped from that building full of death? How do they live with those memories?
How can those who survived believe in safety? How do they trust? How do they react when they hear the Twenty-third Psalm: Though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil when they felt the breath of evil?
We can discuss and attempt to find solutions so this will never happen again–but why didn’t we do that earlier? And if they are told this horror was God’s plan, how can those who mourn turn to the God who planned these deaths?
I don’t know. I truly believe they are with God and that thought comforts but what are we doing to heal these families and make sure this is the last school shooting?
If you have thoughts to share, please do. Perhaps this prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer will help us all.
O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
Help me to pray
And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
I am restless, but with you there is peace.
I cannot do this alone.
In me there is darkness,
But with you there is light;
I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;
I am restless but with you there is peace;
In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience. . .