Why . . .

As a mother of two elementary aged school children and a pediatric ER nurse–the events in Newtown, CT crushed me. I could imagine the terror of those parents waiting to know whether or not their children were okay. I’ve helped deliver the news of a child dying, and then grieved with all those involved.

Over the days and weeks to come, many questions will be asked. People will cry for policy changes. New gun laws. Should there be armed officers at each and every school? What about the shape of the mental health system?

These are valid points of discussion on many levels, but I think they are symptoms of a problem most don’t like to talk about. There is evil in the world. And this truth cannot be ignored or explained away. So what overcomes evil in our fallen world?

I was both impressed and troubled by an interview Dianne Sawyer did with one of the teachers who survived that day. She was amazing. Hustled her children into a small bathroom. Barricaded all of them inside. Kept her calm. Did not allow anyone in until the police keyed themselves inside. She was one of the first classrooms inside the building and expected that she may end up a face in a newspaper, too.

A true hero among many who placed themselves at risk.

What troubled me was a point in the interview when she shared that she told the children she loved them. That she wanted them all to hear something their parents would say. And then questioned if that was the right thing to do.

Is this really where we are? Is this the true dilemma in our response to tragedy…wondering if expressing love is the right thing to do?

I heard the press report that people in Newtown were taking down Christmas decorations. I sympathize with their position. They don’t feel like celebrating. Can’t feel joy when so many others are suffering. A town coming together in shared grief. Our hearts cry with them on so many levels.

And this is where I also grieve. Christmas is about celebrating Christ’s birth. We get lost in the commercialism of it and sometimes, too, I want to pack up all the decorations, and forget gift giving because it’s so far removed from the point of it all.

That God was born into this world to bring light and peace. To one day end evil and suffering. The beginning of a life long journey of love for all of us.

There are certainly no easy answers. I am praying for those in Newtown.

There is light. There is hope. There is God’s indescribable love, even amidst the evil we wish would never touch us. It’s why there is Christmas.

21 Replies to “Why . . .”

  1. Well said!! I agree with you. I continue to watch coverage in hopes to find out why? Maybe we will never know. As for teacher who told her students that she loved them, that is a perfect thing to do. I had teachers tell me they loved me. She should never feel she was wrong. I am proud of her

    1. That’s the concerning part for me. Not that she said. She said absolutely all the right words… but that she questioned herself. That broke my heart.

  2. In the talk of changing gun laws, of metal detectors in schools, etc., the one fact overlooked is that no law will stop an evil intent on acting. Only changed hearts.

    And who questioned whether telling kids she loved them was right: Sawyer or the teacher? I still teach. I hug my teens (mostly because they run down the hall, arms wide and you see the hug coming as they squeal, “Mrs. McClain!”). Many have become friends and fixtures in my life. It’s not inappropriate to tell a student he/she is loved. Only using those words for sin is it wrong.

    On so many levels, this tragedy grieves me.

    1. The teacher questions herself which is what saddened me. We’ve swung so far the other way that even appropriate expressions of love and concern are first doubted. So sad.

  3. I agree. You said ir well. Except for the gin laws. One of the parts of the story here is that the deranged young man stole the guns from his mother. No law will keep people from stealing things. As is proved in courts every day.

  4. Jordyn, excellent words concerning an awful happening in this world. For many years I’ve experienced the holiday blues. This year (excluding the sadness of the CT killings) I didn’t allow myself to fall prey to the commercial urging of how this should be the “most wonderful time of the year” because I have this… or don’t have that… or… Instead, I’ve focused on God’s love for us, how He gave us Jesus and why He gave us Jesus. And I’m feeling at peace about the holiday itself.

    May you have a joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

  5. So powerfully said. And I agree, that Christmas can heal some of these pains for us, if for no other reason than we have the opportunity to be with the people we love. Some of us. My heart bleeds for the families who will not see the gifts unwrapped that they were so excited to get for their babies. We can’t always solve the world’s problems, we can’t make it all go away, but it has to begin by loving those around you, and knowing how important it is to feel and listen.


  6. Jordan, what a wonderful, heart wrenching, thought provoking post. Tose that do such evil as this *is* why God sent His Son. Bless you for the reminder – you put it in such an easy to understand way.

  7. Thanks for this post. I was very shaken as a mother and as a teacher. When I heard the news I sat and wept. I am so thankful my hope is not in this world but in my Savior, without Him what hope would we have?

    Yes, as teachers we do wonder, “Can I tell my class I love them?” I have before the kids giggle. But I do, I love my students. Each is a precious gift of God and He has plans for everyone of them. I am honored that God has choosen me to teach the children He has placed in my life. My goal is to shine His light in their lives everytime they walk into my classroom, even if I can’t say His name in my public school I can live His love.

    1. I still cry as I see the funerals starting. So many children lost.

      I get your tension too as a pediatric nurse. There are moments when children are dying when I want to offer a prayer for the family. I do struggle with if the family will think its appropriate. It’s easier when it comes from a chaplain but we don’t always have them available.

      I don’t think anyone should worry about losing their job for expressing honest love and compassion.

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