I wasn’t planning to write anything in response to the horrific tragedy in Connecticut mainly because I didn’t know what to possibly say. Words don’t come fast for me, especially not at times like this. Though everyone carries the weight of grief very differently, it seems like we all know at least this – there are no words. 

Walking under a great cloud of sadness this weekend, I read this quote from an art teacher named Donna who works at a school nearby Sandy Hook Elementary.

“I don’t know if the rest of the country is struggling to understand it the same way we are here,” she said. “Life goes on, but you’re not the same. Is the rest of the country — are they going about their regular activities? Is it just another news story to them?” source

Even though there is nothing to say, after reading her words, I felt compelled to take my nothing and say it out loud, if for no other reason than to pay my respect.

Donna, I speak for me and my husband, a mom and dad living in North Carolina. Through my small words, we extend our hands and hearts to you, to your community, your teachers, your parents, and your children – this is not just another news story to us. 

Though we can’t possibly know what your community is going through, we imagine how horrific it must feel. And our imaginations are heavy with sorrow, though we all might show that very differently.

I watch my three elementary school aged children, two third graders and a kindergartener. Seeing pictures of Sandy Hook, I am struck by how much the school looks like ours.

I light four candles on my table and try to avoid the news.

I pray for the community of Newtown and remember that we are all still waiting for home.

I haven’t really said anything here. But I couldn’t continue to write until I spent a little time searching for words to put on the heartbreak, no matter how inadequate they are.

Words from The Jesus Storybook Bible from Luke 2:

They knelt on the dirt floor. They had heard about this Promised Child and now he was here. Heaven’s Son. The Maker of the Stars. A baby sleeping in his mother’s arms. This baby would be like that bright star shining in the sky that night. A Light to light up the whole world.

Chasing away darkness. Helping people to see.

And the darker the night got, the brighter the star would shine.

Read from women (and one man) who have more words than I do:

Newtown As I Know It by Jamie Martin who loves and lives there

God Can’t Be Kept Out by Rachel Held Evans

Beautiful Grief by Shannan Martin

“Friday we cried again…” by my Dad