by E. Johnson Cooper & Members of the Friends of Ebonie Team
The last time I cried for someone I didn’t know was when Whitney Houston died. The time before that was when a baby girl named Chloe Louise passed away. That was also the only time I’d ever felt so close to a child- infant even- who died. That is until the the events of last Friday.
I was too young to comprehend the impact of Columbine but the massacre at Sandy Hook will live in my mind as a very real event. Ever since the news broke of exactly how many little ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary my heart feels heavy. I don’t really have words. I’ve found myself weeping and whispering ‘I just don’t understand.’ This resonates so much because those taken way from us are the ones we want to protect the most. Children to me- as I’m sure they are to most- are innocent gifts we have to love and cherish. They bring us happiness, joy, (occasional headaches) and love unlike anyone else. To learn 20 children were taken away from their families in such a heinous way breaks my heart in a way I find so hard to put in to words. The teachers who sacrificed their lives for even more children sends me into an even deeper emotional silo. Yet, as I’ve seen so many people do, I lean on the goodness and grace of God. For this tragedy was not of God but it will be made right by God. I take a bit of solace believing that those babies had no idea what was happening. Perhaps it happened so quickly all they saw, as President Obama reminded us, was Jesus telling them to come to Him.
I will mourn with the rest of the country as if each of those victims were friends and family of mine. I don’t know why but I just will. There is a West African proverb that says ‘we mourn for the living and not for the dead….’ Meaning that the dead are at peace in death, we should focus on comforting the living. While it remains so hard for me to digest the what the children endured, I also know the families of all the victims have an even heavier burden to bear so I pray for them. I pray for the Newtown community. And I pray for our nation so that we can move forward to prevent things like this from happening ever again.
My thoughts and prayers are with all those who are affected by the shooting in Connecticut this past Friday. Words cannot express or fathom the heartache those in Connecticut must feel, but they are definitely not alone. I pray for more humanity in each and every one of us, and that we treat each other with more care and more love so that the next generation can thrive in this world.
There are no words to adequately express the measure of sadness and sharing of grief that many of us have during this time. It is impossible to know what the families of the victims of this senseless and horrific event are experiencing at this time. Yet we can find solace in knowing that God is a healer, He is a comforter and a refuge for the weary and brokenhearted. We ask Him to be with these families as they say goodbye to their loved ones. We join them in heart and spirit as they miss their smiles and laughter and weep for the promise of what was to come in the lives of these precious children. Yet we also know that to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord, and we are confident that they are resting in the Father’s arms. Our continued prayers for everyone touched by the tragedy in Newtown.