It didn't sit right with me that the news media was interviewing children. It really wasn't right. I am encouraging you to boycott/stop listening to/turn off news media outlets that are exploiting this situation by using children to describe it. I get that it was an elementary school. I get that is where the ‘story’ is. I get that in this culture, we are HUNGRY for our appetites to be satisfied with the most real, the most up to date information. BUT, children who have been through something too horrific for them to even begin to understand should.not.be.interviewed. And, if they are, we should turn the station.
It didn't sit right with me when someone posted a story about a ‘hero’ in one of the classrooms. A child, who did something heroic. I didn't click on the story, so I don’t know what this student did that was heroic. But, this was an elementary school, so at the VERY oldest, this child was in 5th grade. 5th graders shouldn't have to be heroes in school shootings. They just shouldn't. So, although I am sure there was beauty in the story, and I am sure the story illuminated some type of hope in place of sorrow, it isn't a story I will be reading. And it isn't a story I will be sharing. There is nothing, to me, at this moment, that seems beautiful about a child working to save other children from being killed in an elementary school in the United States. Is that wrong? I don’t know, but it is where I am at.
It didn't sit right with me that IMMEDIATELY a national and private debate began about gun control. I heard it on the news, I heard it on the radio, I heard it in the restaurant Aaron and I were dining at. All of you who are engaging, today, in that discussion, should be ashamed of yourselves. Yes, I said it, ashamed. Children are dead. Before we begin forming into our little camps of who’s fault it is because of what laws we support in terms of gun control…maybe we should just take a hot second to be unified in horror.
And finally, and this is the big one, the one I want you to read…this is the one I am convicted of…it didn't sit right with me that mental illness is once again being blamed for this situation. And now, I will speak in direct terms. Terms that I think we need more of in this country.
Mental illness had very little, IF ANYTHING, to do with the shooting of children today. Mental illness did.not. leave a school soaked in the blood of innocence. Mental illness is NOT to blame. EVIL IS. And I am SO.DAMN.SICK of those two things getting twisted.
You see, two of my best friends are mentally ill. The struggle daily to manage their illness with medication/therapy/behavioral modification, etc… Their ability to guide their emotions to be subject to their intellect is EXTREMELY difficult. But they do it. And for people to claim that mental illness is the reason for what happened today makes me sick. Mental illness is not to blame for BABIES being KILLED in their CLASSROOMS.
And evil is real. And we might not like to mention it. And we might like to pretend we live in a world without it. But, WE.DO.NOT. It has been said that the best trick the devil played on the modern world is to convince the world that he doesn't exist. Because he does. And today, in Connecticut, in a school full of innocence, the devil was working. The devil was working through a man who decided to kill his family and then, to kill sweet babies. There is no other word for what happened today, but evil. There is no other explanation for what happened today, but evil. SHEER EVIL. Don’t get it twisted, it is a painful pill to swallow, but today was NOT about mental illness. Today was about evil.
At play constantly is a subtle battle between good and evil. A lot of time, good wins out. A lot of time, our actions help to make the world a better place. But sometimes, evil appears to have the upper hand. Today is one of those times. I can’t watch the news. I just can’t. I told Aaron that if I did, if I read what actually went on today, it might be too much for me. You all that know me, know that since having my babies, the one thing I cannot deal with is people bringing harm to children. I cannot deal. BUT, and here is where the plot twist begins. I have hope today. My hope is strong, and I will tell you why. Evil is real, sometimes, it seems like evil is winning, but evil doesn't win.
In moments like today, when I can barely breath because I cannot handle the tragedy that occurred states away, I have something to cling to. My faith tells me that as we WEEP here on earth for those beautiful babies who lost their lives today, just as we weep, they are comforted. Comforted in heaven with a God who loves them. They were wrapped in immediate warm shelter, by nothing less than love brought to life. Because see, even though evil sometimes has to be named, we have to remember, evil has already been defeated. Because the devil already lost. He lost big time. He lost when our God faced the horror that is death and said, ‘where is your sting, for I have defeated you!’. OUR.GOD.DEFEATED.DEATH. And today, those babies are DANCING with Jesus. That doesn't take away the grief we feel today. It surely won’t take away the grief of the families who will live with this tragedy every moment of every day until they get to go home…BUT, it does bring comfort.
Friends that read my blog, I am going to share with you a prayer that I pray quite often. I pray it when I am scared. I pray it with my babies. I pray it with my family. I pray it occasionally (though I will start more) with my teens. For those of you that are not of the Catholic Faith Tradition, please know that when we call upon the angels/saints, we are asking them to pray with us, we are not worshiping them. Just as you might ask your friends to pray for you, we believe we can ask the angels and saints to pray for us. Long ago, with details so sketchy no one knows for sure, there was an angel that defeated Satan. He did it for allegiance to a God who loves us. To some of you, that might just be a ‘story’, to me, it is a fact, a piece of spiritual history not to be forgotten. My friends, as we continue to understand our ever violent world, and the evil acts that continue to take place, PLEASE consider praying this prayer once a day with me. Please considering invoking the strength of the saints and angles to help put to death evil that still exists in this world…please pray with me….
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.