When I was in third grade, my best friend was kidnapped, stabbed twice, and left to die in the woods. I remember my small eight year old mind sitting in the bathroom stale at school replying the words the teaching said over and over in my head. "They don't know where she is, but don't assume the worst." It was that moment that I realized something could be terribly wrong and I may never see my best friend again.
The events in Newton take me back to that time in my life. The wondering, the pain, the questions. It's something that stays with you your entire life, no matter how old you are when it happens. Even up to my wedding day, I thought about the time on the play ground where her and I talked about our weddings in a little girl way. No talk about boys, rather more about the pretty dresses and promising each other that we would be each others bridesmaids. My wedding day has come and gone, and I thought about my friend many times through that day, saddened by the thought she never got to experience love or have her first kiss.
When you go through loosing a good friend at a young age, every exciting milestone is marked with sadness and almost guilt, knowing they never had the same privilege. Even at 8 I remember thinking I should have asked her to spend the night that evening and maybe it would have been someone else. Not that it would have been better, but in my young selfish mind, I would still have my friend.
So when I heard the news about Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, my heart broke and broke and broke. I cried and got a headache from crying. I can't do anything but relate it to my frame of reference and realize the young lives that will forever have scars. They will go through life thinking of not one friend, but of multiple friends and even how a teacher died so that they could live. I pray with all my heart those tiny children and families find peace and comfort in Jesus as I did, because that's the only way to deal with the pain.
There may be commotion around the politics, motives, policies, and so many other frivolous things. In my mind there is one thing that hurts the most, and it's that a little girl lost her best friend and was there to witness the entire event. My heart breaks, because in no fathomable hell should any child have to learn to cope with that.
My prayer is that these children learn to heal and rely on God, because there is no other answer.