Today, in an elementary school in Newtown, CT, a horrific tragedy occurred. 26 lives were taken, 20 of whom were innocent children with a bright future and 6 of whom were adults who were helping to mold those children into the awesome adults they would one day have been. Hearts have broken and ours are broken for the ones who lost their loved ones.
On Friday in China, a man knifed 22 children and a teacher at a school. It is just one of several similar attacks on young people in schools in China that have occurred since 2010.
Whether it was the event in America or the one over in China, I cannot imagine the fear that the students and their teachers must have felt. I cannot imagine having to watch as someone does the things that those horribly troubled people did. We read time and time again about the courage of people in the midst of the events taking place all around them. To be quite honest, I don't know that I would be one of the brave ones.
I was at work when I heard the news of the tragedy that occurred in CT. It stunned me and has made me feel numb. I had a very difficult time focusing on my work because my mind and heart were with the community of Newtown. As I left for lunch, I found myself sobbing the same uncontrollable sob that I experienced when I was told of my step-dad's passing numerous years ago. I had a difficult time regaining my compusure when I returned and as soon as I left work at the end of the day that same sobbing hit me. Although I was not directly impacted, it has felt that I have lost someone too. No, not someone I knew or was related to, but part of my family. . .my American family.
Here in America, we are all one big family. It doesn't matter what color a person's skin is, which city, county, or state we live in, what religious affiliation we are, or how much money we make. No matter what, we are one big family. When something tragic happens to someone in my family it breaks my heart.
A few weeks ago, a tragic event happened in a city in my state with the same name - New Town, ND, a tiny town/reservation with a population of about 1925 people. An individual walked into the home of a grandmother and gunned down her and 3 of her grandchildren. Not all of her grandchildren were present, but if they would have been, they too probably would have lost their lives.
I often think of people in other parts of the world who live their lives every day running from gunfire, hoping they won't step on a mine, praying that missiles won't fall on their homes. I pray for those people often. Over here in America we have become sort of naive to the fact that we are not immune to the same things that occur elsewhere. We have always felt that our homeland was a "safe" place to live. Things are changing. We are no longer the safe country that we used to be as evidenced by the events of the past several years in which people have been gunned down.
I cannot find it in me to pray that the friends and families of those who were lost will be comforted. I do not know that that is even possible right now. I can, however, pray that God would give them the strength they need just to rise at the beginning of each day and that when they don't have the strength to rise, He would pick them up and carry them. That will continue to be my prayer. . .for the time being.
In spite of the news that we heard today, I do hope that you all have as good a night and weekend as you can. Please keep those who were impacted by the events of today in your prayers. Let's all join together in praying for them.