We don’t usually cover national news here. I named this blog Think For Yourself OC on purpose to keep from getting spread too thin. But right at this moment, how can we talk about anything other than what happened on the other side of our country today?
Tonight there are over 2 dozen sets of parents in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, howling from the depths of their souls at grief that very few of us can, or want to, ever imagine. That horrifying, heart-stopping moment in time when someone tells you that your precious child is dead. How does one even endure it? I do have friends who are members of that very small and exclusive club made up of those who have stood beside a gaping hole in the ground and placed their beloved babies into it. As a parent I cannot fathom anything more terrifying. And while a small town in Connecticut is far from Orange County, as fellow citizens we feel their pain, and somehow it does affect us here. When evil steps forward we are all made less for it, no matter where the geographic location may be.
That this happened in a small town, with a population so low that 1 in 1,000 citizens of that community today was shot on school grounds, makes it all the more surreal. This isn’t supposed to happen in Mayberry. But it did. This was not an act borne of urban density and crime statistics, and funding cuts to community police services, it was a chance act, one mind that snapped and took others with him and it could have happened anywhere. For many of us that makes it worse, somehow more frightening, because it means it was really outside of our control. We know how to be afraid in a back alley in south-central, we do not know how to fear for our children in a nice new school in the suburbs of Nowhere’s-ville USA, and that pushes our buttons.
Talking heads, empty heads, will call for gun control, or more security for school yards, or any number of central planning solutions for an act of evil that has no nexus to logic or reason. They mean well, but the truth is they (we) are grasping at any answer in a desperate bid to feel as though we are in control, that if we just do the right things we can protect our families. Surely if we just leave the big crime-ridden city and move to a small town where everyone knows each other….
But the truth is that guns did not kill those children, that monster-twisted-tormented-soul was intent on harming someone today, and it mattered not one whit if he used a semi-automatic gun or a can opener, he was going to kill someone. Those of us who follow Christ understand that this world is not our home, and today I am glad of it, because I do not want to belong to a place where 5 to10 year olds are slaughtered while finger painting. But while we are here, until we move on to where we truly belong, we endure the nightmarish vision of Coroner’s wagons pulling up to an Elementary School. And we grieve, and we pray, and we weep.
So while we do not usually cover national news here, it would be obscene to cover anything else. Over two dozen sets of parents would give anything, every possession they own, every ounce of their own health, every remaining breath left in their bodies, to think that the worst problems in their lives tonight was crooked politicians and out of control government spending-the usual fodder for these pages. I will not belittle their grief to talk about anything less worthy than the loss of every hope and dream those parents and grandparents and siblings and playmates had ripped from their grasp today.
But I had to write, not to add to the talking heads who have already said too much on the radio, or the television whores interviewing children still in shock in a desperate bid for ratings and filling air time. I write because I have to get it out. I write because some have told me that I can put into words what they were feeling and could not say, and I hope to give a voice to the dread that we all feel today. That community will never recover, there will always be a gap where those young lives were supposed to be.
I am grateful that our world is still decent enough that this is, in fact, news, and not a commonplace occurrence, with the flipped circumstance of “Local man feeds the poor” as the attention-getting headline. I am grateful that we have managed to maintain our own sense of humanity to the extent that we are broken into pieces for the loss of young lives. May God help us when the day comes that these acts no longer have the ability to horrify us.
We will light candles and take up collections for the very unexpected funeral expenses that will need to be borne and do what we can to make sense of the senseless.
And for this one night, this blog covers national news.