Sunday, December 16, 2012

Where was God?

It doesn't happen very often, the entire country of America coming together and agreeing.  So often we look into what divides us, what holds us separate from each other, and THAT is what defines us.  We cheer for one particular baseball team, we live in one particular city.  We are Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Amish, Atheist, wiccan, or believe something that has no name.  We are democrat or republican, independent or unsure.  We are blue collar, white collar, redneck or city slickers.  On Friday, each and every one of us was family.  We mourned as a family for each life that was taken, we gave thanks for each heart that was allowed to keep beating, and we were appalled and angered that anyone could do such a thing.  All of this, we did together, as human beings.

As the news slowly emerged, and the true horror of all that had happened, and facts were stated saying, "twenty children, ages 4 to 7, and 6 adult lives were taken by a single person at Sandy Hook Elementary school.  The killer then turned a gun on himself and took his own life."  Do not forget that he also claimed his own mother's life before any of the further carnage took place.  The total?  Twenty-eight lives, taken by one single, disturbed, life. 

The one thing that caught my attention first, was the first thing you see, on social media sites like Facebook, is the request from people to people, for prayer.  They ask us to pray for the lost, pray for the living, pray for the grieving, pray for strength for those who need it.  The one prayer I failed to see asked for was the one I think most important.  We need to pray for a world in which this type of shooting can happen.  We need to pray for a world in which this type of crime is becoming common place.  We need to pray a world in which more people will be able to tell you the name of the killer, than any single of a life that was taken.

There are a few other, rather common comments that are going around right now, that bother me.  People are asking a question: Where was God, when all these lives were taken?

There are also images on Facebook going around that say: "Dear God, Why do you allow such violence in our schools? -signed a concerned student  Dear Student, I am not allowed in schools. - God"  Do I understand what people are saying with this simple image? YES! The very people that have gone out of their way to have every single image, thought, or Word of God taken from our schools, our governments, our country are the people who first ask that question.  They want to know where "our God" was when these type of things take place.  People WANT to make the impression that we have kicked God out of lives, so how can we ask Him to intervene?

I can tell you where God was. 

God was with every single person in Newton, CT that morning.  He was with them as they got their children ready for school.  He was there as children said goodbye to their parents, as kisses and hugs, some of them the last, were given.  He was there, preparing these people for what they were about to go through, whether they believed in Him or not, God believed in them.

God was there as the killer made his way to Sandy Hill Elementary school.  God was there when the first shots went out, He was there as those first lives were escorted to the gates of Heaven.  God was there with the student that barely made it to his classroom before the horror started, a moment before and that child's life too would have been gone. 

God was with the principal, Dawn Lafferty
.  God gave her the courage to face the shooter, and try to stop the shooter.  It's been said that Lafferty taking on the gunman's first initial moments of fury gave teachers and staff  precious moments to lock doors, hide children, and do all they could to protect lives.

God was with the person who thought to turn the Sandy Hill School loudspeaker system on.  The number of lives that this simple act probably saved is countless. 

"A custodian ran around, warning people there was a gunman, it was said. "He said, 'Guys! Get down! Hide!'" He survived."  God was with that man.

God was with Victoria Soto, and her students.  He was there as she was trying to get her students into a closet, to protect them from harm.  Victoria Soto died as she shielded her students from the gunman, God held her hand and finished what she was trying to do, He protected her students.

God was with the little girl, the lone survivor of one of the two classrooms, as she "played dead" and survived. God was holding her hand, keeping her still, and calm, amid the chaos around her, and He will be with her as she faces all that she will face as she grows up after living through such a thing.

God was with the woman who hid under a desk.  As she trembled, did her best to remain quiet, and starred at the shoes of the killer, just feet away, God was holding onto her, He gave her strength, and she lived.

God was with
Kaitlin Roig, a teacher, and her 15 students as she hid them in a bathroom and barricaded them in with a book shelf.  God had his hand on every one of those children as they did their best to remain silent.

God was with
school clerk, Maryann Jacobhim, and the 18 fourth graders she had in the library. God was there as they all first went to a small room, finding the door didn't lock, and then as they crawled to a storage room, where they too barricaded the door, and found coloring supplies.

God was with the gym teacher, and the children in her care.  God was with them as they huddled in the corner, and held them close to Him as the teachers took the scared, crying children, to an office so they could cry without being heard.
God was with an eight year old little boy and the teacher that saved him. "I saw some of the bullets going past the hall that I was right next to, and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom," said the boy.
If you have read any of the stories out there, you can see God in every single one of them.  As I was reading, I ran across this, "
was armed with a military-style rifle and two semi-automatic pistols. Investigators said he possessed "multiple high-capacity magazines" for all three weapons."  The shooter could have killed, wounded, scarred, many more than he did.
God had His hand on every single locked door in that school.  Do we think that He looked the other direction while all of this was going on?  Think of the hysteria that wasn't reported on the news.  The students being led from the school by their teachers and police.  Think of how much worse things could have, would have, been if these children and teachers had panicked?  If children had done what so many adults would do, go running from the building in fear.  God was there, and still is. 

Do you think that telling teachers, "you can't pray with your students" kept a single one of those from sending up a prayer?  Do you think the "separation of church and state" kept a single person in the country from praying?  How does a Christian believer believe that God would ever say, "I'm not allowed in school"?  Does anyone think that God looked at the building and said, "well, it's a school, I can't go in there?"  As the parent's were rejoined with their children, are there any, you think, that didn't think "Thank God!", because He wasn't welcome in school?
~Tammy Doern~
December 16, 2012