A young 1st grade teacher is dead after trying to shield her students from the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday. Her uncle spoke to media, telling them she would want to be remembered for dying doing what she had a "higher calling" to do - teach and serve.
I am a college educator, not an elementary school teacher. But among teachers there is a quiet bond. Whatever the age of our students, they are the focus of our passion. The Sandy Hook shootings hit me hard, as I did a mental run-down of my own classrooms and realized I would not have many resources with which to protect my students. I believe I can lock the doors in some of my classrooms - something I'll be looking into when I hit campus on Monday. But for the most part, I teach in a room with four brick walls, no closets, and no desks to hide under. Although the depravity of those who go on public shooting sprees - especially this one - escapes me entirely, I can see why schools make good targets. People are lined up like sitting ducks in a shooting gallery, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
There is little I could do but pray. There is little I can do but pray. There is only one Hope in the face of our world's darkest evils. There is only one Comfort when the worst tragedy strikes.
For the years of aftermath these small children face, I will be praying. For the lifetime lived without their loved ones, I will be lifting up those who lost family members in this senseless tragedy. And for the rest of us, shell-shocked and in disbelief, I can only whisper with John, "Come, Lord Jesus, come." (Revelation 22:20)