I have been processing the school shooting in Connecticut since Friday when it happened – mostly unsuccessfully. There is no place in my head to put this information. It hits me as a teacher, mother and grandmother. My heart grieves for the parents, grandparents and extended family members who will be facing Christmas this year with empty chairs at the table.
My pain for those children is not mollified by fatuous platitudes of “They are with Jesus now.” I think they probably are, but that does not mend the hole that these dead children and teachers left in the lives of others. I think of the songs that will remain unsung, and the stories that will never be told.
Some are asking, “Where was God when that happened?” Others respond that God is not allowed in schools, so we should not be surprised when these things happen. I strongly disagree. As my friend, Ann, pointed out, the law allows people to pray to God in schools. They may not proselytize, but they may pray. I have a daughter who teaches second grade. I know she prays for her students, and I know that God uses her in that place. God was not absent from school that day.
Then why did that horror happen? I don’t know. I’ve been asking that question for three days now. It’s not about guns. Every head of household in Switzerland owns a gun issued by the government. Switzerland is one of the safest places in the world to live.
I do know that murder has a long history. Cain killed his brother Abel out of anger and jealousy. Cain had a heart problem. King David had a heart problem when Bathsheba turned up pregnant due to their adulterous relationship. He ordered the murder of Uriah the Hittite. King Herod had a heart problem when he killed all of the infants up to two years of age for fear of being replaced by The King of the Jews.
The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ time wanted to kill him because of a heart problem. They hated Him and unsuccessfully tried their best to be rid of Him. Jesus gave up his life on purpose, freely-for them as well as for all of us. And, I know why He did that. Jesus knew that the only solution to those kinds of heart problems was to give people a new heart. And that was the only way to be able to do it.