Only after driving home from school with my boys tonight did I hear the news of what happened at another school in Connecticut today--though the radio dj didn't share the whole story out of concern for children who might be listening. So it was later this evening that I heard the whole news about the events.
Much as like the President, I didn't take the news lightly. I have two sons the same ages as many of the victims. I work in a school with hundreds of children I care about. I simply can't imagine having to live through such an event. I can't imagine being a parent of one of the children. I can't imagine being a young student who witnessed it all. My heart hurts.
In the midst of Advent, in the midst of waiting for the Savior's return, it is clear how much we need Him. The world doesn't need Jesus by way of telling them, "You need Jesus." While it may be true, that isn't the way we need Jesus. The world needs Jesus by having His people be His hands and feet.
Long before today happened, clearly the gunman needed help. His mother needed help (it sounds like she was probably a single mom who raised a son with needs she maybe didn't know how to meet). The victim's parents need people to be there for them in their grief and anger. The children who survived will need people to provide them safety, security, and a lot of love. There are a lot of people in Newtown, Connecticut, who need Jesus.
There are a lot of people everywhere who need Him. Our neighbors. Your neighbors. The children in my school. And I don't say they need Jesus tritely. But I don't believe that more metal detectors in schools, tighter gun control laws, or better access to mental health are going to fully solve anything. And I'd love to say that if we were all caring neighbors, reaching out to those who don't get reached out to, that it'd solve everything. And while I do believe that love is the answer, I know that even so, we'll still have troubles in our world.
Waiting during Advent becomes all the harder to do when news like this comes to us. This is supposed to be a time of peace, joy, and love. Now, for far too many families, it is a time of mourning, anger, and distress. As the governor of Connecticut noted, "Evil visited this community today." Indeed it did. Unfortunately, in some form or another, it has visited every community.
Those lights on our Christmas tree remind me that Jesus is the light of the world and that He calls his people to be light in the darkness. There is much darkness in need of light. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Come quickly. Come swiftly.