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Unfortunately, there have been several mass shootings of late. In 1999 the Columbine shootings awakened us to the horrific possibility that schools weren’t as safe as we once thought. Since then we’ve realized no place, not even houses of worship, are safe anymore.

But this one hit hard. Maybe it’s because of the age of the victims. Perhaps it’s because to have this happen so close to Christmas dashes our hopes, and taints the holiday most looked forward to by our babies. Maybe it’s because it is one more reminder of the frailty and uncertainty of life.

Hopefully it drives each of us to appreciate the ones we love and tell them and show them so…often. Every time we part company with them, we need to be reminded in some small way that this could be the last time we see them. No drama there, no attempt to preach doomsday logic. Just a quiet reminder to show those we love that we love them.

My prayers, of course go out to the parents and families of the victims. The brothers and sisters that won’t see their brother or sister this side of heaven. The grandparents that won’t get to see that Christmas Concert this year (and it’s the first one they’d have). The Aunts and Uncles who just lost their pride and joy. Simply can’t imagine the pain.

My prayer is for the teachers and staff of Sandy Brook. Those of in education know that it doesn’t matter if you are the class instructor, the janitor or the cook, you play a vital role in the life of the Kids. At any given moment you are a parent, a coach, and encourager, a disciplinarian, a doctor, a counselor, a pastor,  a playmate, and perhaps most importantly, a friend…a best friend at times.

People choose to go into education to make a difference in lives of children. We don’t go into it for the pay (which isn’t that great) or so we can ‘have summers off (which rarely happens) or for status. We work long hours, struggle with increasing government regulations and paper work; with increasing scrutiny by parents, politicians and the community at large; when the kids fail it’s our fault, when they succeed it’s their determination that does it.

We don’t just deal with sick kids, scared kids, abused kids, violent kids, smart kids, and kids with special needs. We become a part of their family system. Maybe that’s why this one hit so hard for me.

I still believe in God’s love although sometimes I question why He allows these things to happen. My prayers are for comfort and strength for the victims’ families. But most of all right now, I pray for the teachers, and for all the 1000’s of teachers across this country that are hurting over this. God Bless you. You do a service everyday that many can’t do. Thank you for your dedication. Thank you for your love.

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June 2023
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