Wednesday night, I went to the birthday party of a teacher friend of mine. She had assembled two other teacher friends of hers that I didn't know. Yet, we laughed and talked for hours about the profession of education and the state of America's children. It was like I'd known them my whole life. This always happens to me when I meet a teacher. We click. We hit it off. We could talk for hours. I'm telling you, we may not have a fraternity like the police and firemen, but we are in our own trenches everyday. We get it. We get each other.
To hear that so many children died Friday rips my heart out from my chest. To hear that teachers, a school counselor, and a principal died horrific deaths putting their lives on the line for their children makes me sad but proud. In these twisted days of our society, our profession is being trashed day in and day out. No one out there seems to care about the teachers and the children anymore. Our society has lost why we teach. We teach for the children. We teach for those precious faces they are slowly attaching to the names of the victims. We teach for their future tomorrows.
In one split second, their tomorrows were ripped away.
Yesterday, I cried and cried and cried. A little piece of my heart died yesterday thinking about all those sweet children, teachers, and administrators at a school not much different than mine.
9:10 Morning announcements. Same thing at my school.
9:15 Doors lock to the outside. Pretty much the same thing at my school.
State of the art buzz in system complete with camera to monitor visitors. Same thing at my school.
Do I feel safe at our school? Absolutely. Do I logically know that the world is full of evil walking around amongst me? Absolutely. It could happen anywhere. They always say, "I never thought it could happen here." Or they say, "I never thought this would happen to me." The truth is, evil is in this world. It has somehow seeped into our society. Satan is causing chaos like this horrible evil to run rampant, and it breaks my heart.
It reminds me of a wonderful quote that I remember from reading The Diary of Anne Frank back when I was in elementary school. She wrote, "In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart."
Part of me is so scared to go back to work tomorrow. Logically, this is not even a sane thought. I get that, but it's the questions that I'm afraid will haunt the discussions in my classroom tomorrow. How can I make second graders feel safe after that? How much did they see over the weekend? What kinds of talks did they have with their parents?
While my students celebrated Christmas at a party complete with games, crafts, music, and food on Friday...twenty first graders were shot. I didn't even hear about it until way into the afternoon because (as any teacher will tell you), we are in our own little world inside the school building. I can almost feel what it would have been like to be in that situation. The fear. The desperation. The hopelessness as you tried to save your kids.
I'm in tears again just thinking of it. All we can do right now is pray for these precious families left behind. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their strength. Pray for some comfort.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that one day you will come back to this world! Thank you that in you we can have some hope! Thank you, for saving us from the evil that has overtaken this cruel, crazy world. I will be on my knees praying for those affected by this tragedy. Will you join me? Will you also join me in praying for the teachers all over this nation tomorrow as we head back to work after such a tragedy. Especially pray for the teachers of the young babies like mine. I have no idea what I'm going to even say to them tomorrow. I hope I don't have to say anything.
New International Version (NIV)
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”