When news of Sandy Hook hit media last Friday, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and news-channels of all sorts were covering the devastating horror and the deaths taking place at this Connecticut elementary school. I was blissfully unaware; more preoccupied with stocking stuffers and a warm lunch while walking the streets of blustery downtown Holland.
Adam and I don’t have any children, but we do have a little brother in elementary school and 4 nieces and nephews attending elementary schools as well. We’ve read in classrooms, attended special-helper days, and watched kindergarten graduations. We walked halls of bright colors and signs reaching out for attention. They are places of wonder. Excitement. Of things new.
*look at the stars, look how they shine for you.
I’ve research over the past couple of days similar scenarios of what happened at Sandy Hook, what’s been labeled now in files of America as a mass murder. And over and over again, stories feature yellow-taped areas and a photograph of someone who got lost along the way. What I’m surprised not to find are the victims’ faces. Because the names deserving remembrance are those lives taken too suddenly in an act of unthinkable terror. I don’t think we should dismiss the abusers (since most abusers are simply hurt people who, in turn, hurt people), but I believe a certain grievance should be shown to those loves lost.
Charlotte. Daniel. Olivia. Josephine. Ana. Dylan. Madeleine. Catherine. Chase. Jesse. James. Grace. Emilie. Jack. Noah. Caroline. Jessica. Avielle. Benjamin. Allison. Rachel. Dawn. Nancy. Anne. Lauren. Mary. Victoria.
A list of names. I had to type a list of names for business purposes the other day. But this list.
*look how they shine for you, look how they shine for you.
Tears started to brim as I typed “Noah.” I have my own Noah, with red hair and freckles and fiery spirit of life. I’ve seen his terror when we play spooky tricks at Halloween — all in good fun — but still, there’s a flitting moment of real, raw fear. And by just typing four simple letters, his fear is the only image in my mind. I don’t dare comprehend the sadness, sense of loss of losing someone. Especially a child. The best way I could ever explain was taken from an idea by William P. Young known as The Great Sadness. I envision a heavy cloak, completely enveloping one’s being: mind, soul. A deep gravity dragging down continuously. When a friend of mine miscarried her first baby girl, I told her the following. And my same prayer goes to those affected and suffering from Sandy Hook as well.
God can meet those tangled in tragedy through tangible ways. My prayer for you is that you let Him meet you where you are broken. Meet you and your family together. And to help you believe that He works all things together for good…somehow.
*(Instagram is a free app for iPhones (and now Androids!) that features various filters that are easy-to-use and make posting to Twitter, Facebook, and my blog [with the help of my quickly-made Photoshop template], easy-peasy! You can follow me @brennigan)
We’ve been holding close these past few days. We’re holding closer still as the holiday season descends.
May angels lead you in. May angels lead you in.
…and if you’re looking to help.