Last Friday morning, dozens of parents woke up their children for another day of school in Newtown, Connecticut. They fed them breakfast, made them lunch, zipped up their coats, hugged them, and said they would see them that afternoon.
Last Friday morning, dozens of teacher and staff unlocked their classrooms, wrote objectives on the board, sharpened pencils, and welcomed students for another day of learning before the weekend.
Last Friday morning, a young man changed everyone's lives at Sandy Hook Elementary and even across our nation.
Last Friday morning, teachers, parents, students, family, friends, and complete strangers across the country begged, cried, and screamed, "Why?"
As a teacher, this tragedy has hit me in a way that it hasn't affected many people. Yes, we are all saddened by this, but my position provides an entirely different perspective. I see 48 five and six-year-old faces every day. I answer their questions, tie their shoes, read them stories, help them write, count, and read. I strive to inspire, motivate, encourage, and challenge them. I hear about their hurting tummies, their pets, and their stories. I witness their good and bad behaviors, their friendships, their laughter, and learning successes. I see 48 young faces everyday, but this week, I have really been looking at the faces looking up at me.
As I see their innocent smiles, I can't help but think about the students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. It's just there--in the back of my mind. It is so hard to suppress the "what-if's". So hard when we have taken so many extra precautions now. So hard when the media won't allow my mind to rest.
I know we live in a fallen world. I know evil reigns here on earth. I know God is in control. I know He has a plan. I know all things work together for good to them that know Him. I know, I know, I know.
But what I don't know, is how someone could ever take the life of another, of a child, of a stranger. I don't know why.
And I never will. It is beyond comprehension. My heart hurts if I try to wrap my mind around it. And so I don't try. I don't attempt to understand how this could have happened--because I simply will not find an answer that I can accept. Instead, I feel somewhat numb. On the edge of okay and confused. I try to hold on to what I know.
I know we live in a fallen world. I know evil reigns here on
earth. I know God is in control. I know He has a plan. I know all things
work together for good to them that know Him. I know, I know, I know.
And I know that He holds me in the palm of His hand and I am safe from this world. I know that greater things are still to come. I know that someday, all the tears and hurt will be gone, and only joy, peace, and love will remain.
It's not easy, and the pain isn't gone. To be honest, the anxiety isn't gone either. But I know that I am not in control. I know that I still have a job to do. I know that I still have 48 faces waiting to see me smiling and strong tomorrow. I know that I have the responsibility and the privilege to teach those children. These things I know. I will hold on to what I know, and realize that the rest is simply beyond comprehension.