Praying for Newtown
Instead of writing about another Christmas recipe, today—as I have for the past several days—I’m thinking about the tragedy in Connecticut. I don’t know anyone in Newtown, but my sadness and horror is sharp for all of those involved—the children who heard the massacre, the terrified teachers who tried to protect the children, the EMT workers and first responders who saw unspeakable images of carnage, and the heartbroken parents, family members, and friends who are left behind.
So many times over the past weekend, my mind has time traveled to Hance Elementary in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, the school my children attended. As a homeroom mom for most of those seven years, I volunteered regularly in the classrooms, helped plan the seasonal parties, chaperoned field trips. I can imagine exactly the festive decorations—Menorahs and Christmas trees and wreaths—set up around the school. I can see the jolly outfits that first graders love to wear. I remember the trembling excitement as the children count down the days till vacation.
And my heart is breaking, too.
I’m also reminded, however, that I serve a mighty God. I believe that He is “close to the brokenhearted” Psalm 34:18 and that He “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3. That’s how I’m praying for the people in Newtown—for healing, peace, comfort, help, and strength. I’m praying against bitterness and fear. I’m praying that the children and first responders will overcome the sights and sounds of that morning.
I’m praying that this will be the last time we have to face a tragedy like this one.