BOOGEYMAN IN THE CLASSROOM

My daughter Karen posted the following message on Facebook today:

“I shouldn’t have to have the conversations with my kids that I’ve had this week.  I shouldn’t have to learn that they have “burglar” drills at school, where doors are locked, lights are out, blinds are pulled and children hide in silence in the dark, under their desks.”

Several of my friends have asked why I didn’t blog about Sandy Hook yesterday.  I couldn’t.  The incident rendered me wordless and all I wanted to do was to quietly and fervently pray for the children, the families, and our country.  Today I want to speak of the unspeakable.

Last night little children who could have been tucked safely into their beds at home dreaming of Christmas, lay dead inside their school in the company of forensic experts.  Parents, who dreamt of making their children’s dream come true on Christmas morning, went home with aching empty arms and anguished souls.

A woman was seen running from the scene of the shooting and screaming “Why, why?!”  And the pundits try to answer her unanswerable question for hours on end as we sit glued to a screen hanging on their every word, devouring tragedy.  As if the mere knowledge of the heinous act was not enough to fill us to capacity with grief, we want the details, please.

This time, I opted out.  No news channel for me.  I found my consolation envisioning little souls crossing over into love with the adults that died with them, and angels holding the hearts of those left behind.  I thanked God for the blessings the little ones bestowed on their families in life, and for the goodness of a community that will rise to support its people.   I thanked God for a president that can be moved to tears by the fate of little children, because I never want us to be in the hands of a man or woman that cannot feel enough to cry.  And most of all, I thanked God that this time, my children and grandchildren were spared a direct confrontation with violence.

I am tempted to talk about the why, or perhaps more appropriately the why nots, given the climate of anger that surrounds us, and our abandonment of the mentally ill. Not tonight.  Tonight I want to just reach out and gently touch you.  To remind you that darkness and hatred cannot rule the world as long as there is a spark of love.  And I want to offer a prayer not only for the children, but also for the adults- the principal, the teachers, who dedicated their lives to children and died with them.  May God bless them all.  And you. 

My friend Cantrell has a signature at the end of each email.  It reads: “breathing peace”.  Cantrell, I have being doing that today and it has been a great consolation.  Thank you!

8 comments

  1. My dear friend & sister, all I can say is thank you for putting so well into words emotions so raw that have made most of us speechless.
    I have not been able to watch any coverage of this tragedy for the shockingly sad reason that I already know too well about the searing grief it brings with it. We’ve lived through horrors like this too many times already. The senseless of it all grows with each ocurrence and my mind and heart feel shell shocked. But the awareness is still there, and the resolve is coming back to push back with love, light, and peaceful breathing.

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    1. Thank you Yoli. I love the resolve to allow the love, the light and the peaceful breathing. I treasure you, my sister/friend. Our Pedro Pan bond brought us together and it is strengthened by our belief in freedom, goodness, and love.

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  2. Thank you so very much for sharing the image of the angels: It is beautiful, appropriate and brings consolation. I have read that some people have taken down their Christmas decorations for the grief they feel. And yet, ultimately, it is the very angels that announced more than 2,000 years ago the birth of the savior that can deliver to us a message of peace and hope in the midst of this horrific tragedy.

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  3. Thank you, Adrianne….I opted out of the news reports too so I could focus not on the horror, but on the precious lives lost and the healing for those they left behind. May their lives remind us to hold onto hope in the hard times and to step in and restore hope for others who groan under the weight of their own sorrow. We need each other…

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