Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Trying to make sense of it

This past week has been really tough on most folks in America. The horrible tragedy in Connecticut touched all of us in ways we could not imagine. No one could have guessed that a mere boy, who was  in kindergarten not that long ago himself, could go into an elementary school and murder 20 innocent children. Who could have known that he had murdered his own mother in her bed before he made that dreaded trip to Sandy Hook Elementary School to begin his slaughter? We might have known he would take his own life. That seems to be a growing trend in incidences like these.

This tragedy will be with us for a long time. As soon as I saw President Obama's face on the television, the thought struck me that he looked exactly like President Bush looked on the day of 9/11. The victims were like those in Oklahoma City, in Aurora, in Tucson and the Amish School in Nickel Mines - they were all innocent people going about their daily lives when they met their untimely deaths.

How can we make sense of this? I don't know if I will ever understand how the human mind works. I do believe that there is evil in the world, and that people can become evil and do evil deeds. I do know this: God gives us free will to make our own choices. He allows us to make decisions regarding our lives. Perhaps Mrs. Lanza's decision to try and take care of her son instead of getting him the help he needed was a bad decision. Perhaps she should not have had those guns in the house in such close proximity to her troubled son? Those were my thoughts, as I began to hear about Adam Lanza's troubled existence.

We struggle to find answers. We try to make sense of what happened. We talk about gun control and video games. I believe we have the right, as our Constitution promises, to bear arms. We use guns in our society for protection, for hunting, for competition. I believe we must continue to enforce our laws regarding guns. I grew up in a house with guns and so did my husband and our children. But there were never any accidental shootings and especially none on purpose. That is because we were taught to respect not only the guns, but also the sanctity of human lives.

It was said that Adam Lanza spent countless hours in his basement playing violent video games. I really am ignorant of these games and what they entail, so I really cannot opine on them. I do believe what I read over 20 years ago, however. I read an article that predicted a desensitization of the coming generations due to the graphic violence in movies and television. And that was a long time ago. I worried about my children, and decided it was my job as a parent to control what my children saw. I knew it was impossible to completely shield them from society, so I tried to balance what they saw with reality. I taught them the value of human life.

That comes to my point: I believe what causes many of our problems today is, to coin an old phrase,"the breakdown of the family." We can blame it on working women, divorce or anything else we want, but I believe that no matter what circumstance people find themselves in, if they are good parents, they are good parents.  If their child needs help, they find help for him. They find a way to teach their children right from wrong, to keep them in their sights, and know what they are doing.

God gives us these children for a short amount of time. He allows us to have them so that we can teach them and guide them and love them. We are to show our children the unconditional love God has for us, and discipline them with love. It is our responsibility not to raise them as "friends" but as responsible Christian citizens of this country and this world.

So back to our tragedy- We will not understand Lanza's motive because he has gone to meet his maker now. We must strive to bring comfort to those who have suffered loss, through prayer and support. We must vow to value each human life and teach the coming generations to value life also.

The Hebrew prophet Micah writes: "Ah! you plotters of iniquity, who work out evil on your beds! In the morning light you carry it out for it lies within your power."  That verse really hits home, doesn't it? 

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