The sun seemed to set early, to broken to keep shining on December 14th, 2012. While I quietly began my morning routine, a kid I had only ever noticed in passing, massacred blameless lives behind my home. If ever there’s a moment to question whether or not your front door is locked, it’s not when State Troopers are parked in your driveway and swarming the area in search of a suspected second shooter.
The sirens and flashing lights of the emergency responders echoed throughout our sleepy town, acting as the brutal soundtrack to chaos while parents walked to the fire station to be reunited with their children. I naively hoped everyone was safe and the onslaught of police was merely overcautious.
When the death toll was released that afternoon, my heart sank to the floor with the rest of my body. I made a mental list of all of the neighbors I needed to call, but my fingers didn’t want to dial. I was too afraid of the news I might hear. The names and beautiful pictures were released to the public a short time after and the country released a unified cry of grief.
The days after the Sandy Hook shooting still remain a blurry mess in my mind. The president came. Getting in and out of our house became a trial in itself. And everyone wanted to help in whatever ways they could. We opened up our downstairs, which also served as an ice cream shop for prayer.
Before we opened one evening, I sat in our downstairs with a dim candle lit and tried to force the tears out. I knew a tsunami of grief was storming within me, but the shock and chaos and fear was hindering making it too difficult to feel. That's when a pickup truck pulled into the driveway. A man from Chicago got out and asked to set some crosses and a Star of David in our yard, he had even brought an extra star in case two of the victims happened to be Jewish. We were shocked and moved by his compassion and agreed to let him use our yard. He quickly assembled the memorials he had built and transported with his own hands as cold rain drizzled down on that confusing night.
In the days that followed, I’d periodically watch from the window as mourners from near and far came and added flowers and toys to the display. A few months later, my dad sent me a photo from Boston. The same man had made crosses and brought them to that community as they grieved in the wake of the Boston massacre.
Five years later, the same man has made his largest delivery to Las Vegas. I saw the picture and the headline, and I'm ashamed to say I moved right past it. I didn't want to be reminded of the hurt and the pain, but Truth woke me up in the middle of the night with the expression,
"Good keeps going."
Even as I tried to protect the scars on my heart, what's good will keep persevering and shining in the midst of darkness. Genesis teaches that when God first formed the world, there was chaos and a darkness that could be felt (Gen. 1:2) and into this very darkness, God added light.
Light is an amazing substance that will continue to travel into eternity. Nothing can truly halt a wave of light, instead, it’s absorbed by anything that obstructs it, leaving a lasting impact (think hot sand heated by sunlight at the beach).
Scripture adds power to that truth, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
The light will always pierce the darkness. Good will always surpass evil. It happened in Sandy Hook, and it's magnified in the courageous mothers and brave fathers that carry on their children's legacy while making an impact world-wide. From monumental acts like the display of crosses, to the smallest hug, Sandy Hook will always be the personification of the message, "Love Wins."
Because Love already won.
John records, "In him [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind..." (Jhn 1:4)
The true light that gives light to everyone (Jhn 1:9a), came into the world, to take on darkness and defeat it forever.
Though we still experience tragedy and grief, there's always hope, light, and the choice to forgive and overcome... just watch this video of Scarlett Lewis,
And always carry God's love, hope, and light in your heart... you never know who might need it today! Everyday we have the privileged to be an example of the Love that Won.
Shine bright, friends!
חֹשֶׁךְ chôshek, kho-shek'; from H2821; the dark; hence (literally) darkness; figuratively, misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness:—dark(-ness), night, obscurity.
is a writer & tired homeschooling mom of five.