Like so many others this morning, I'm sitting here thinking about the events that unfolded just a little over 24 hours ago yesterday in CT. The incredibly painful reality of the situation hit me last night at 9:00 as I watch the news. I began weeping for the families, the children, the teachers, and the rescuers of that awful scene. Even now, I fight back tears and choke down the feeling of sheer anguish for them.
Like many people yesterday, I had a normal, if even enjoyable Friday. I taught my classes, chatted with students, and even got in a great little ride around the lake before going to pick up my kids at their daycare. When I picked them up, Lisa, the care provider, could barely get out what had happened. I was horrified but quickly forgot about it as the kiddos and I went out Christmas shopping for my wife. At the store, the kids were going absolutely CRAZY and I was completely embarrassed as we left the store, my face still red from the frustration of dealing with 2-million kilojoules of energy crammed into two 3 foot tall bodies.
After dinner, we joined my wife at the hospital for a short Christmas party where we all decorated sugar cookies and laughed as my daughter dropped hers, frosting side down, on the table. We went home and the crazy kids returned so it was off to bed for them and slowly, like frostbite, the reality of the sad news began to settle back in.
We watched the news and the more I watched, the deeper the agony I felt for those who lost their small children. I asked myself why anyone would do this and I quickly came to the same conclusion that everyone else has, there is no reason. The tears came full force now, just sobbing for the families, and praying that God was watching over those little ones now. I hate that gunman, so cowardly in his action, chose to attack the most innocent of society, and then, the ultimate act of cowardliness, took his own life. I have no love for this person, my heart burns in anger and my mind is somewhat comforted that he will pay for his actions eternally. However, it doesn't change the situation that we all are left here to face. Why?
Still sobbing, I go upstairs and grab my children and the three of us lay in my son's bed, cuddling, me crying while the kids sleep. My son, ever squirmy, wakes up and begins to think of excuses to get out of bed. "Ssshhh, let's just lay here for a while" I say. My daughter somehow can feel my sorrow and pulls tightly into my arms. I begin crying harder now, wondering if God will protect my children from such evil in the future, praying that he does, and trusting that they are His to watch after, no matter what evil finds them in this world. After 10 minutes that felt like 10 hours I tuck the kids back in bed and return downstairs. The only thing to do now is go on with life, there is nothing else to do. I turn on the TV again and Jay Leno is on. He appears to be saddened as well, even remarks that they considered canceling tonight's program in light of the events on the day. Thankfully, he goes on with the show, offering some distraction from the terrible onslaught of news. After a few minutes, exhaustion finds me and I drift off to sleep.
When the alarm buzzed me awake at 5:30 for my morning workout, there wasn't much thought to the tragedy of yesterday. I drank coffee, ate some cereal, and worked on a the blog post for my weekly Trail of the Week feature. After finishing my coffee and clicking "save" on the post, I began suiting up for my ride in the dark cold morning, which for some unknown reason brought the horrible news back into my mind. Just yesterday I was on a ride, completely unaware the that nation was being bombarded by horrific news of evil. My mind went back to the images from the news and tears started to well up in my eyes again. I put the rest of my gear on and went out into the cold. The air was brisk, but I didn't feel it. It seemed to match the feelings in my heart. I made it 2.5 miles before turning around and heading back home. I just couldn't ride anymore than that today. Someday soon, we will all be back to normal, but families are crushed right now, feeling a loss that I cannot bear to imagine. My prayer is for them today, Please God, be with these families. Put your arms around them and help them to know you are watching these kids in Heaven now, where they wait for their parents to join them. There is now no fear for them, no sorrow, just the purest joy that we can imagine, the kind of joy we want to feel right now but seem to be feeling the opposite. Time will pass, hearts will mend, and God, mysterious in His ways, is still good and in control. He hates evil, and His heart is breaking right here with ours.