Nearly a week ago an un-imaginable tragedy took place in Newtown, Conn. when a disturbed individual entered an elementary school and killed 26 people, including 20 first graders. I have talked to many people who seem to have been impacted by this event more than other similar shootings that have taken place in this nation.
There seems to be a fog over this country since this past Friday, and I think the reason why is because for many seeing the faces of those very young children and imagining the horror that went through their minds in those final moments is painful to say the least.
Why would anyone single out six and seven year olds?
When you have children or grandchildren who are that age it seems to hit even harder, especially when one thinks “what if.”
Schools have offered words and resources for families to guide them as they discuss the realities of this tragedy. You can find a link to information on the Redwood Area School District Web site in a letter from Rick Ellingworth, RASD superintendent. The site may be found at redwood.mntm.org.
I can say I am deeply saddened by this event, and like many have felt the raw emotions thinking to myself “what can be done” to prevent something like this from happening.
There are plenty of political groups who are willing to offer solutions, whether it is gun control or raising awareness of mental illness. While these efforts may help ease the minds of society, they do not address the real issue behind them.
No amount of gun control measures are going to prevent evil people from getting guns and killing people.
No amount of mental illness awareness is going to stop people who are bent on revenge.
The true issue is a matter of the heart. It can be found in the words of those whose lives have been torn apart as they discovered their children would not be coming home anymore.
With their words of forgiveness, their prayers for the family of the man behind this shooting and their words of hope we can find resolution in this issue.
It is in their words and actions where we can find our hope.
At Christmas we can find the kind of hope and peace we truly need in our lives through the birth of the Son of God.
No government program or legislative action can change the hearts of evil people, and until we realize that truth nothing is going to change.
On a more positive note, I was able to talk with the Omans for a few minutes Monday morning after the fire that significantly damaged their restaurant The Rusty Bucket. I heard the sadness in their words, but I also heard something one might not expect. Candi asked me to have people pray for her employees who are going to be without work for a while. She said being out of work at any time is difficult but to have that happen during the Christmas season is even more challenging. Those types of responses are what a community needs to hear when tragedy happens. That a community is bigger than any event and that there is indeed something bigger out there than all of us.
This Monday marks the 19th anniversary of the day I made one of the best decisions of my life. I’m not exactly sure why I am so blessed, but I am definitely thankful for my better half and everything she means to me and our family.
Happy anniversary, Kelly.
The past 19 years have been wonderful, and I am looking forward to another several decades of life together.