God’s Heart Broke First

My heart was not the first to break when I learned of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I was not the first person to cry or get angry either. I cannot imagine the insurmountable pain that families and friends of victims are facing in these difficult times.

I think God’s heart was the first to break … even before the first shot was fired.

As soon as I opened Facebook on Friday, my screen was flooded with messages of sympathy, condolences, and some casting judgement. I think the majority of the messages unknowingly cause more pain and distress. I think they are making the situation worse by portraying God as a heartless entity who allows the murder of children. I am not professing to have all the answers, but I don’t agree with this portrayal of God at all. I am, at best, a human struggling to live the best life I can in a world full of strife and discontent.

I don’t believe in a God who kills people to fill some roster of angels in heaven. I think really bad things happen when other people make really bad decisions.

I don’t believe in a God who allows (or wills) tragedies to happen. The God that I believe in is heart-broken before we are.

While I am in support of proper registration and background checks of gun owners, outbursts about gun control after tragedies really anger me. I am a gun owner. But are senseless acts of violence a gun control issue or a mental health issue? Or, do we have security issues in need of attention?

I am also an airline traveler. When I go to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, before boarding a plane, I go through a complete security checkpoint. The majority of the time, I am scanned in a big machine looking for hidden items (i.e. weapons) under my clothing. I recently attended a music concert where every person entering had to be scanned by law enforcement officers before passing the entry gate. The same thing happened at the American Airlines Center in Dallas for a women’s conference. I am not offended by the security measures taken at airports and some public facilities, why should schools be any different? Has our society become so complacent that schools are not perceived as dangerous enough? I am not a parent, but I am an educator. I could have been one of the eight teachers killed in Connecticut. Regardless, I support the installation of metal detectors at schools to ensure the safety of students, teachers and visitors.

I don’t understand the convoluted logic behind tragic events like in Newtown, CT or Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or the Sikh Temple, or the shopping mall in Oregon. I don’t know the answer to “why” either. But I know these three things to be capital “Tee” truths:

  1. Murder is not acceptable.
  2. It’s OK to be angry and confused.
  3. Humans need connectedness. We need support and time to grieve.

I don’t profess to have all of the answers and I don’t understand the logic of some people, but I’m processing the tragic events as best I can with the limited experience and knowledge I possess. You are entitled to disagree with my opinion.

By | 2012-12-15T15:55:24+00:00 December 15th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

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  1. Raquel engle December 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    <3 you said it perfectly and exactly what I was trying to put into words!!! Especially the part about God. Thank you!

    • Nicole December 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Raquel, thank you for your kind words. I’ve simply tried to put into words the emotions my heart and mind are trying to process.

  2. stuffitellmysister December 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    I appreciate your thoughts and words…..♥ paula

    • Nicole December 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Paula. And thank you for following my blog too. I appreciate all the support of my readers. =)

      • stuffitellmysister December 15, 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply

        I found you through “In The Old Road” when she shared this post on fb. It truly speaks what I could not find words to say. ♥

  3. Louis Fowler December 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    My dear Cousin, Your words are simple but true ! I commend you in your youthful wise expressions. God has blessed you and may he heal all that were closely effect in CT and all including me who will never understand why? Love you Nicole ! And Merry Christmas !!!!

    • Nicole December 15, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Louis, thank you. And I wish you a very merry Christmas too. =)

  4. April @ Red Dirt Mama December 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    I love this post. I agree so much with you.

    • Nicole December 15, 2012 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Thank you, April. Hugs! =)

  5. Mindy December 15, 2012 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    The “mall shooting in Oregon” was miles from my house. The woman killed was my neighbor and the mother to a boy who attends the same school as my son. My heart was aching for him and his family.
    Then yesterday happened.
    I’m a SAHM to three kids. Almost seven, five and 10 months. This week has changed me forever.
    I 100% believe that these events had nothing to do with God. I don’t have a religious background, but I can’t imagine a loving God scooping up children off the Earth for his own benefit. If he needed a new angel, he could make one. The evil behind these, and all murders, can be blamed on human choices. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Satan was smiling, giddy in the corner.
    My sadness is indescribable. My stomach is in knots. I’m dreading sending my first grader back to school after winter break.
    The weight of these events will be felt in my heart long after the news stories have faded.
    I pray for God to give those who are hurting strength. I’m not sure I could live with that kind of loss.

    • tchistorygal December 16, 2012 at 5:30 am - Reply

      I’m so sad for your loss as well. These acts are so random, they could happen anywhere, but I do believe that God doesn’t cause them to happen. People make evil choices or they are very sick mentally. I’m just sorry for your loss, and for the loss of so many in Connecticut in the coming days and weeks. Marsha Lee

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 8:05 am - Reply

      Mindy, thank you for sharing your story. I cannot imagine the heartache your community and friends are still facing after the loss of life. I lift all of you in my prayers. Your words “indescribable … stomach in knots … dread” are so true about the tragedies we face in this world. I hope we all remember, and all hold close, EMMANUEL — God with us, today and everyday.


  6. stuffitellmysister December 15, 2012 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Reblogged this on stuff i tell my sister and commented:
    Thoughts from Nicole ~

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 8:06 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing my thoughts on a horrific event. God bless you. =)

      • stuffitellmysister December 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm - Reply

        Thank YOU so much for expressing them so well! ♥ blessings to you & yours ♥

  7. jmgoyder December 16, 2012 at 3:51 am - Reply

    This is one of the most sensible and sensitive posts about the tragedy that I have read so far. Thank you. I saw his via SSis above.

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate them.

  8. tchistorygal December 16, 2012 at 5:37 am - Reply

    Nicole, I’m a friend of Stuff I tell My Sister, and read this on her site. Like you I have been a teacher, and that could have been me or you. No one is safe from random acts of violence. We don’t expect it. We can’t plan for it. We can monitor more, but we can’t monitor everything. I was just on a grand jury in CA in which a husband had killed his wife of 23 years while she was in the bathroom, and he was sitting 7 feet away from her behind a partially closed door. I can’t imagine that she knew he would kill her that day. I don’t even think he really knew he would do it, although he had “joked” about it to different people. How these awful evil things happen is a mystery to me. In these days we have to cling to the words, “All things work for the good to those who love God.” Romans 8:28. I pray that is so in the lives of these dear people who have lost so much. Thanks for sharing your post. ML

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing yours as well. It is a tragic scene and during this time of Christmas and Advent, I cling to the word EMMANUEL – God with us. I cannot imagine the scene you describe with the husband and wife. My thoughts and prayers are with ALL victims of violence. I don’t know “why” such things happen, but I believe God is still in control and my faith rests strongly in Him. Blessings to you.

  9. Julie December 16, 2012 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Beautiful, Beautiful post, Nicole! You said it so well.

  10. billyraychitwood1 December 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, Nicole. Your speak for so many of us.

    Our God, our faith, helps us to somehow get through the tragedies that hit our lives — Our God, our faith, does not prevent the tragedies of our lives. Evil has existed throughout life’s moments, and part of our sadness at these times is we feel helpless to do anything about it. Evil comes, stuns us with its horror, leaves us lost in grief, and causes our thoughts to palpitate in indefinable patterns… Bless the children and the families.

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Billy Ray, for sharing these words and reflections. Blessings to you.

  11. Julie December 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Nicole, If you don’t mind, I am going to share your post on my blog. Your post if perfect….I will of courase give all the credit where credit is due! : ) Big Hugs, Julie

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Of course, thank you! =)

  12. Amanda Barstow December 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    I just came across your blog and started following, great post.

    • Nicole December 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Amanda. I appreciate your kind words and the support of my blog.

  13. Margaret Sullivan December 20, 2012 at 6:53 am - Reply

    I completely agree with you. And the title is so perfect.

    • Nicole December 20, 2012 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Thank you, Margaret, for reading (and enjoying) my heartfelt post. Thank you. =)

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