I’ll leave you with this quote that really put into words how much impact these little people have in our lives – “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about..”
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Loss of Innocence
Every parent’s worst nightmare became a reality to 20 parents (not including those of the heroic adults who died valiantly and selflessly) on Friday, December 14, 2012. As an “assume the worst, hope for the best” type of person, I pictured the parents sitting in the firehouse holding their breath as someone new walked in, only to have their heart sink further with each exhale. Finally, they heard the words that still probably haven’t quite sunk in – “your little boy/girl is not coming home” – words no parent should ever hear, especially parents of little fledglings who have only just left the nest, slowly spreading their wings as they journey into the world.
I cannot imagine the consuming heartache they must be feeling – as if someone reached in and pulled their heart out and crushed it in front of them. (If you watch “Once Upon a Time,” you’ll visualize this). I cannot imagine coming into my home and knowing that my child will never walk through that door again. I cannot imagine replaying our last words to each other, holding on to the last kiss and our last embrace, watching videos just to hear her voice again, or no longer being able to breathe in her smell left on her pillowcase.
Although life goes on for the rest of us (even if we are reminded of it through every form of media), how do those parents go on? Not having been in a situation like that, it might be easy to assume spending the rest of your life curled into a ball in the darkest room of your house would be your new way of life. Sounds reasonable to me…but many of these parents have other children who need them and no doubt, are needed by their parents. As one of the victim’s parents said, they are going to live each day for their daughter – thinking about her, talking about her daily. What a wonderful way to keep her alive and honor her!
Sandy Hook Elementary could have easily been my daughter’s school. In dropping her off on Monday, I must have said “I love you” at least 25 times just in the 30 seconds it took to open the car door, have her unbuckle her seatbelt and grab her backpack before jumping out. I also reminded her that even when I’m not there with her, I am forever with her as she is with me…and more importantly, that Jehovah God is always with her. She can talk to him through prayer at anytime – in times of worry, in times of uncertainty, in times of sorrow and even in times of joy. Because if she were ever in a situation like those beautiful babies in Newtown, I want her to know that she is never alone and is safe in his keeping.
Today, my kindergartner explained to me that her teacher spoke to the class about their safety plan if a “bad man” were to ever visit their school. She said they would pile into their bathroom (and was bewildered as to how 13 students and their teacher would all fit) and that they would need to stay completely quiet so he wouldn’t hear them. My eyes welled up as she recounted her “what she learned/did at school today” overview – this is not something a five year old should be preparing for. A fire, yes; a hurricane or tornado, sure; a psychopath thirsty for notoriety and innocent bloodshed, absolutely NOT!
There are a lot of solutions or opinions being tossed around about what could have prevented this tragic event or ways to prevent a similar massacre from happening again but really, the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one, Satan (1 John 5:19) and like these twisted monsters who carry out these wicked acts, he has no empathy nor any regard for any of us. Our only hope lies in our faith in the ransom sacrifice provided by Jesus Christ which will open up the door for us to have everlasting life like God intended for us when he created Adam and Eve (John 3:16). Even if all of the guns were completely destroyed and anyone with mental illness found the help that they needed, Satan would find a way for evil to occur. Even though I know not the day nor the hour, I know in my heart this world cannot go on for much longer heading in the direction it is going in – our salvation is so close at hand and so comforting that I imagine it to be that warm blanket that is right there, ready to cover you when the cold is just too hard to bear any longer.
Each night after she brushes her teeth and empties her bladder, I say a prayer with my thoughtful, inquisitive, beautiful little girl. We always pray about the promised new system that will soon put an end to this wicked world we live in (Psalms 37:10, 11, 29; Revelation 21:3, 4) and envision being on the wonderful earth God intended for us – no sickness, no boo-boos, no bad guys – just paradise, purity, perfection! Now more than ever, we pray for those better things to come and to come soon. And we pray that those who have lost their babies far too soon will hear about this hope and find comfort in knowing they can and will see their perfect little child again (John 5:28, 29) just as they remembered them.