I have been trying to do some reading and writing this afternoon, but as each report emerges from Newtown, CT, it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so. I thought I’d post some thoughts on this blog as a way of processing it. This incident troubles me more than other recent shootings because of the children involved.
When people were shot and killed at a showing of The Dark Knight Rises it was horrifying, unnerving, and it made my first subsequent trip to the theater eery. When the mall shooting occurred in Clackamas, OR, a few days ago it scared me because I used to live near that mall, I’ve shopped there, and I know many people who live there. There is something about hearing about children being killed this way that is far harder to swallow. I think it has to do with the shortness of life, the innocence stolen, the violation of a safe place like an elementary school, the fear of being a parent someday that is compounded when I consider bringing children into this world.
When something like this occurs it makes me think about people in other places of the world where this sort of tragedy is commonplace. There are wars all over the world where people die, and where children are part of the numbers, but it seems so far away. When it happens in the United States it is reminder that there is no utopia, no place where shalom rules. Children were killed at an elementary school in Connecticut, a state with a posh reputation, a place where our smallest should be safe. The world scares me.
As a Christian it is days like this where I have that sense of kyrie eleison, Lord, have mercy! marantha, Come, O Lord! C.S. Lewis said that pain is God’s megaphone. I don’t want to explore theodicy today, but there is something true about these words: this event has me praying, hoping, waiting for our Price of Peace, Jesus, to defeat death, his final enemy, so that God the Father can be all in all, death eliminated, evil vanquished, creation restored. If I didn’t have this hope I don’t know how I’d be able to live in this world without becoming nihilistic.
I pray for those who were killed today, the parents of these children, the teachers, and all those impacted.