Where were you when _____?
I hear this question asked frequently about events such as 9/11.
Sadly, we can now all answer: Where were you when you heard about the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut?
I was in the car with my family, driving to visit my mom. My husband received a text alert from USA Today at about 10 am: School shooting in Connecticut. I asked him, “Any more details?” He said, “No.” I continued reading my book and my kiddos went back to their game.
Then, around noon, NBC News suspended programming for a live report.
For the remainder of Friday and much of Saturday, my family missed very little of the live coverage. Although we discussed it as we watched, in hindsight, I should have shielded my children more than I did. Because my children know so many details, I’ve decided I simply can’t let it drop. I can’t ignore it and go about life as usual. For me, that communicates to my kiddos that it was a news event on Friday and Saturday, but today it’s passed.
It’s not passed. It will never “pass” for those families, that community, or our nation. It will always be current in hearts.
What can we do? How can we help ?
We can pray.
We will pray for each victim’s family by name, reminding ourselves as we pray that these aren’t statistics scrolling at the bottom of a news report, but real people. Unspeakable tragedy has touched each family’s life, and we intercede in prayer on their behalf. (The Washington Post’s Remembering the Victims includes each victim’s name, picture, and biography.)
I also plan to share Romans 12: 17-21 with my kiddos during devotion time tonight. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” That’s the message I want to write on my children’s hearts.
I want my kiddos to know it’s ok to discuss our broken world openly; it’s ok to question our faith; it’s ok to cry. We want our children to actively engage our world in His name and for His fame.
Pray for Newtown, our nation, and our world. Prayer is a gift to us from God. A gift we can give others.
As I have followed the news coverage and reactions on Twitter, I’ve read many articles that have caused me to reconsider my perspective, touched my heart, or helped me to understand better. Here’s a few of my favorites…
Newtown As I Know It by Jamie (This is written by a Newtown resident.)
This tragedy hits close, shockingly close, to our home. Within walking distance families currently nurse a private grief that I find unimaginable. What disturbs me, though, is that most of you are hearing about Newtown for the first time. Please know that there is another side than the sheer horror of what you’ve seen.
Three Minutes by Reggie Joiner
It only took about three minutes to traumatize a community and shock a nation. But as the whole story of what happened in those three minutes has been revealed, it’s obvious that evil was not the only force at work.
The brokenness of the world is on full display this day. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. All the silly “positive thinking religion” collapses on days like this. This world is broken and only God has the ultimate fix.
The Gospel and Newtown by David Platt
I’ve found myself asking, “How do we respond to the story of a 20-year-old young man walking into an elementary school and in a matter of moments murdering 28 people, including 20 children? How do we react to such unexplainable horror amidst such indescribable grief?” Inevitably, many people turn to God.
Tragic Events in the News by Fred Rogers
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
No Words (A Response to the Connecticut School Shooting) by Jeff Goins
I believe language has power and impact, that it can be a salve to our wounds. But not today. Today, I have no words. If I did, they might be “awful” or “unimaginable” — even “appalling.” But none of those seems to capture the intensity, the pain, of what has transpired today. None seems appropriate. So today I am reminded that sometimes no words are in order.
5 Ways You Can Help Sandy Hook Shooting Victims via Mashable
Here are five online campaigns you can contribute toward right away.