As I zipped up coats today, and placed back-packs on my children’s willing shoulders, I shuddered. My thoughts turned to the families of Sandy Hook Elementary who will never again send their innocent children off to school.
My prayers are for all children returning to school today, some with heavy hearts, burdened at a young age by the reality of such devastation.
I spent this weekend pondering, contemplating the wounds of this massacre. I confess I have not watched much television, preferring instead to glean information from the internet. My children are too young to listen to the media’s constant analysis of this harrowing event.
I shielded my triplets, five-year old kindergartners, from knowledge of this tragedy. They are too young to process such catastrophic news. They must never battle fear as they cross the threshold of their school. It must continue to be their safe place, their haven of love and learning.
As they stepped from our car today in all their innocent happiness, I felt helpless and vulnerable. What can I do? How can I protect them? As I struggled through this sad school morning, my thoughts focused with eternal gratitude on my little ones, and I knew there is one thing I can do, and that is pray. And so,….
I pray for the families of Sandy Hook’s angels. As they suffer through the depths of their grief, may they find peace despite knowing nothing will ever be as it once was.
I pray for the people of Newtown that their broken hearts may heal, and once again may they experience the comfort of life in their peaceful, supportive community.
I pray for teachers who willingly pledge to enlighten our children. May the immense responsibility of protecting our children from unknown dangers never overburden these amazing men and women.
I pray for the first responders whose vigilance in the midst of such chaos strengthens our communities. May they find comfort in the knowledge their bravery is appreciated, as they deal with the memories of a tragedy nobody should ever witness.
I pray for the family of the shooter. May they find solace after losing their mother, and courage to face a burdensome future of scrutiny and heartache. May we envision their pain, so that when we have finished judging and move on, we will remember they live with guilt and endless questions for the rest of their days.
I pray that finger-pointing and bitter accusations may cease. May we realize the problem is not centered on one issue alone and acknowledge this is a complex national puzzle we must analyze piece-by-piece, all the while learning how to support one other.
I pray for our leaders that they may be inspired to ask the questions begging to be asked. When they hear a vast array of answers may they have the courage to listen to the whispers, and not only the shouts, then band together in their determination to find solutions.
I pray that as a nation we may have the courage, endurance and foresight to help these families as they traverse the long road back to life – life so utterly changed and transformed it is hard to imagine.
I pray we do not lose focus once our wounds begin to heal. When our initial debates have ended may true healing occur through open dialogue centered on love, compassion, forgiveness and commitment to the common good.
And so, as I struggle through this Monday filled with feelings of sadness and loss, I hope you will join me in my prayer.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)