Until last Friday, Newtown, Connecticut was just another sleepy, idyllic New England town. The upscale town of just over 27,000 about 60 miles from New York City had been called one of the safest places in America.
All that changed a few days ago when a 20-year-old man pushed through security at Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 20 children and 6 adults in cold blood, after killing his own mother while she slept earlier that morning. The cowardly killer turned the gun on himself when he realized rescuers were closing in on him.
This school massacre, coming as it did when people want to be celebrating the holiday season and thinking of peace on earth and good will toward men has rocked the close-knit community and the nation as a whole. This is especially true as it seems the past few months have seen other deadly shootings by young men who later took their own lives.
Of course, the most common question asked in times like this is “Why?” Why would anyone walk into a school full of innocent children and start shooting? Why would the killer shoot many of his victims multiple times before walking away? All of the children were 6 and 7 years old…why?
The other question is, “Where was God?” Media types love to ask this, especially when the person they’re interviewing is a person of faith. These media blockheads, who snicker and roll their eyes every other day when God, Jesus or prayer is mentioned, suddenly want to know where He was and why He could “allow” such terrible things to happen to good people. They wring their hands as they fret over a Supreme Being’s supposed unreliability, completely ignoring the fact that God and the things of God (The Ten Commandments) have been systematically shoved from every public arena—especially the public schools.
But God is bigger than the media…bigger than the government that wants Him to go away…bigger than any atheist organization or the ACLU. Though they try on paper to push him out of the classrooms of America, he was very much present at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday. I can tell you where he was:
–He gave his spirit of boldness and bravery to the school’s principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach. Upon hearing gunshots in the front office, both women left a meeting and attempted to confront the gunman in an effort to protect the students. Both died and both leave behind families of their own.
— He was the hands and feet of the teachers who were slain while trying to shield children from gunfire: Rachel D’Avino, age 29; Anne Marie Murphy, 52; Lauren Rousseau, 30 and Victoria Soto, 27 gave the ultimate sacrifice, and in their final moments on earth left an example of what real love is. (“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” – John 15:13)
–He gave His wisdom and a sound mind to the many other teachers who survived the massacre and helped save the lives of the children in their care. When first grade teacher Kaitlin Roig realized what was happening, she quickly ushered her students into a bathroom attached to her classroom and used a bookshelf to barricade herself and the children in there. Not knowing whether they would live or die, she told her students she loved them and that everything would be okay. She told them they had to be very quiet until the good guys came to get them out. Many other teachers did the same as they calmly lead children past the horrific scene inside the school and outside to safety.
–God was present in the Good Guys- the first responders who daily walk into dangerous territory, never knowing what they will face, to rescue those who did survive.
–Most importantly, God is active in Newtown through all of the neighbors who are pulling together to comfort those who lost their loved ones. As small town people always seem to do after any tragedy, they will help each other and heal together and they’ll get through it. Yes, Newtown Connecticut, there is a God and he was and is there to walk you through the fire.
“Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You’ve stripped away our heritage,
You’ve outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question “Why?”
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!”
-comments to the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime on 5/27/99 by Darrell Scott, the father of Columbine High School shooting victim, Rachel Scott
CLICK HERE TO READ MR. SCOTT’S FULL TESTIMONY ON MAY 27, 1999.