To watch or not to watch the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT ~ that seems to be the question, especially for parents. I personally CAN NOT just shut if off and go back to life as it was before Friday, December 14th and pretend that everything is just "peachy keen".
Is it because I have a little girl in Elementary School? YES. If you are not a parent, this may be hard to grasp, if you are, you will understand: The sheer terror I felt in my heart when I dropped her off at school yesterday morning made me want to be physically sick. But I also know that "normalcy & routine" are paramount to keep her from becoming terrified. I am the adult. She is the child. I had to do the hard thing, I had to do what, as far as I knew, was the best thing for her, while all day long I feared for her safety and prayed that she truly was SAFE in school...because the reality is that we don't really know that, do we? A sense of the relative safety of our children in public schools was shattered on Friday. And we'll never have it back.
Is it because I feel that by having some of the facts I can better process the tragedy and, as a result of that, prepare myself for the best reaction possible physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually should such tragedy ever affect my life or the life of someone I know/love? YES.
Is it that by giving those broken-hearted families my silent attention as a long-distance witness to their pain I am, in turn, showing "love of neighbor" and respect for them and those they lost? YES.
Though tempting, I can't just turn away, put it out of my mind, focus on the mundane, shallow, every-day things when I know that just a few hours away there are families and an entire community that are "crushed in spirit."
Seeing the faces of those children, and of the adults who bravely tried to protect them and gave their lives doing so is heartbreaking. It is also a very real reminder that none of us are immune to the threat of this sort of horror. And that is terrifying.
So I watch, and I pray; for the victims, their families, for the first responders who have to live with the horror of what they saw that morning, and The Lord's Prayer ~ for God's Kingdom to come...because even if there was world peace, those families will never have peace in their minds and hearts without it, and neither will I.