I sat in front of my television horror struck by what I was seeing and hearing; someone had gone to a rural elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and opened fire on children and staff. My heart sank. A total of 17 years in public safety and it's hard to imagine things I haven't seen or heard about. I used to be pretty stoic when reports like this came in, but I am not anymore. Watching this one play out left me feeling like I had been struck by lightning and then tossed into a black hole. My thoughts reeled. I began to consider the correlation between how far our culture has tried to remove itself from God and how many of these unthinkable incidents occur. It seems they are on the increase. Coincidence? I think not.
A reporter was interviewing a father who had received a reverse 911 call and had responded as directed in the text message he received. As much as we'd all like to avoid having to call 911, no one wants to receive a reverse 911 call. That's when the authorities call you to tell you that while you were minding your own business thinking everything was OK in your world, a catastrophe has occurred that is going to change your perceptions of your safety. The man being interviewed spoke of picking up his son, knowing something happened but was obviously unaware of what. He assumed everyone was going home with their child and it would all be sorted out later. That's when the journalist interviewing him decided to tell him at least 27 people, both children and adults, were dead as a result of the shooting. Reality left the father speechless and instinctively reaching for his son.
You cannot un-ring a bell. Information like that leaves you gasping for breath and begging for a different outcome or hoping you made a mistake in processing what you've heard, even if your child is OK. Ignorance was bliss for that Dad... ignorance lost was shattering.
There was a time when the worst thing a child worried about when going to school was the status of their homework or an upcoming test. There was a time when journalists would consider the damage they were doing before shattering an innocent person's world. How I long for the good old days.
My prayers are with the families of all involved; children, faculty and staff, first responders, neighbors, friends.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.- ESV