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:
- Murder is not acceptable.
- It’s OK to be angry and confused.
- 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.