This morning I got up and went for a run outside. The weather here has been very snowy, cold and overcast so the blue sky and heavenly sunshine were a joyous sight for snow blind eyes. Last night I hung out with The Nephews and we had a blast: auntie got to snuggle with one and hold the hand of the other at various points during the night (for those who aren’t sure, these are the things that make aunties happy).
So, it was with great sorrow that I heard about the tragedy in Connecticut. If you, like I, live under a rock, then here is a very quick break down of what happened: a man entered an elementary school and killed twenty 6 and 7 year old children and six adults, after killing his mother at home. He apparently ended his killing spree by taking his own life.
How can such evil exist in this world? To take the lives of children? Of those caring for the children? Of his very own mother?
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28 – 32 NIV
Yes, to murder children one must have a depraved mind. I cannot conceive of any other explanation.
But what is our response? As a single person I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a child. In medical literature it is cited as being one of the single worst things for a family to experience. But as an aunt I can imagine at least a little (I’m too much of a chicken to think about it too much) what it might be like to lose a nephew…
Please let us gather together and pray!
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesian 6:18 NIV
Firstly, for God’s strength and comfort for all of those involved. Remember the parents, the siblings, the grandparents, the aunts and uncles, the neighbours, the friends. Remember the people who happened to be there or who came across this tragedy immediately after it happened. Pray for the emergency workers (police, EMS, firemen) who had to wade in amongst the aftermath and rationally do there jobs.
Secondly, pray for the family of the young man who has committed these tragic actions. Remember, he also killed his mother and she likely had parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and friends and co-workers and neighbours. Pray especially for them as they have to deal with the pain of loss but also the stigma of their relative/neighbour/friend being the cause of such loss.
Thirdly, cry out to God that His Kingdom will come to this earth so that we no longer have to face such pain and terror but that His love would overcome.
Please, make a point of getting your friends and neighbours together to pray. Pray that those who don’t know God and the mercy He has shown us through His Son would come to know Him (how could one go through this without Him?). Pray that those who know Him will draw closer to Him. Pray that those around these families will see God at work.
Remember, God knows what it’s like to lose His Son to madmen…