Sunday, December 16, 2012

Remembering and Mourning

I just returned from my week in Holland at the Godly Play Trainers' Training, but before I tell you about all the things I experienced there, I would like to pause a moment to remember the 20 beautiful children and their six courageous adult caretakers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since our training was in a monastery, we had limited access to internet and I first learned of the terrible tragedy on Saturday morning. I wept as I saw pictures of these precious people and listened to President Obama's response to it. 

Charlotte, age 6

Daniel, age 7

Olivia, age 6

Josephine, age 7

Ana, age 6

Dylan, age 6

Madeleine, age 6

Catherine, age 6

Chase, age 7

Jesse, age 6

James, age 6

Grace, age 7

Emilie, age 6

Jack, age 6

Noah, age 6

Caroline, age 6

Jessica, age 6

Avielle, age 6

Benjamin, age 6

Allison, age 6

Rachel, age 29

Dawn, age 47

Anne Marie, age 52

Lauren, age 29

Mary, age 56

Victoria, age 27

Please continue to remember these families in prayer during the holidays and in the days to come. I think of the words of the baptism story that I told this week in Holland: "The Holy Spirit . . .  comes to us when we need comfort and strength." Those left behind need this deep comfort and strength. 

And for some solid advice in speaking with your own children about this tragic event, please read what Carolyn at Worshiping with Children has written on the subject.


  1. Thanks, Sheila. You've helped me decide to post on this too, and I've linked to you.

  2. thanks for your link to the blogger with the practical advice.

    She answered the question of why didn't God stop the man.

    Here is a question that I cannot find a sound answer for --

    "why didn't God protect the children?"

    do you have any suggestions? I would so appreciate them.

    glad you're back safe and sound.

  3. That is an important question. I think I would start by telling a child of Jesus' promise when he ascended into heaven: "I will be with you always until the end of the age." We can trust God that he was with those children when they were experiencing the worst and that he never left their side. Their lives were not spared (much like the terrible slaughter of the innocents in the Christmas story), but we don't know how God might haves protected them at the end and brought them from this life into his safe care.

    When speaking to an adult, I might remind them of the father in "The Shack" when he meets his murdered child again and she speaks of how God was there and cared for her at the end. We just don't see all of the picture on this side.

    1. That is the best answer that I've ever had.

      Thank you.