Monday, December 17, 2012
Yep. I love you. In a completely unfunny and nerd-like way.
I post early in the morning, so my Fitness Friday post was published before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred. I didn't know about the tragedy until I hopped on Facebook late that afternoon and news about the event was everywhere.
Without the kiddos around, I turned on the television and was just sickened. Like most people, I immediately thought of my own children, one of whom is five years old and is in kindergarten. I thought of my mom, a resource room teacher in an elementary school, and my niece and nephew - a first grader and a kindergartner, in the same school with my mom. I thought of Lauren, a second grade teacher with a class full of seven year olds. These people I love deeply, due to the massacre at Sandy Hook, became potential victims in my mind.
Brian came home early from work, and I met him outside and just cried. All I could say was, "They were the same age as Esther."
I am heartbroken.
I am terrified.
I am not alone.
The details of this tragedy will unfold over time. We will learn about the shooter, the victims, the timeline of the events, and amidst all this there will be much speculation. So much speculation. Why? How? What if ... ? There will be blame. People are scared. People need a scapegoat. They need to believe that this will not happen again. And that's all okay.
And thus begins the process of processing. Processing our grief, our fear, and our anger. It is messy. It can be hurtful. It can feel like a personal attack. The temptation to jump into an issues war is great. But today let us just process, so we can grieve, and ultimately, heal.
Today we show people grace. We love as Jesus loves. We let them rant about gun control, mental health, safety in schools, and cast blame wherever they feel best and we forgive them as they process their anger, fear, and grief. Because there will be a time to address all these things. There will be a time that we need to come together and find reasonable, non-reactionary solutions to very real problems. But today is not that day. Not when our grief is so raw, our fear so heightened, and our anger myopic.
Today I want you all to know what Kaitlin Roig, a first grade teacher and survivor of the Sandy Hook shooting, came to know as the most important need of the human condition. As she hid her students from the gunman in the hallway she told each of her kids that she loved them. If these children were to die, she wanted the last thing they heard to be that they are loved.
And so, my dear friends, family, and readers of this silly little blog of mine, please know that you are loved. I love you. (Even if I don't know you and if we never meet, know that you make my life better because you read my blog, and that matters to me.)(Partly because I'm super prideful and the number of people that read this are important to me, but also because I spend my free time doing this and it blesses me that you spend your free time reading it.)(So yeah, you, you from some town I've never heard of, I love you.)
More importantly, Jesus loves you. Jesus, who does know what town you are from and also every hair on your head (even the grey ones; your beauty shop tricks ain't foolin' the Lord, y'all) - He loves you, too.
As I do my own processing, I am choosing to love. (And if this "Jesus loves you" stuff isn't your thing, I pray you will choose love too, because I need some in return.) God bless you all.