December 14 was the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school. Twenty children died, including Emilie. The sadness and poignancy of the anniversary was heightened with the continued violence. On Friday, December 13, there was a school shooting at Arapahoe High School. The school is eight miles from Columbine. Seventeen miles from the movie theater in Aurora where twelve died and seventy were wounded.
Shootings in Colorado hit even closer to home for me because I lived there. I have friends who teach there. Shootings anywhere take me to my classroom with my students to imagine the horror. I look at my nephews and shudder. I sit in the questions. Again? How? Why?
A year later, Emilie’s mom can say, “The only way that good can be in us is if we freely choose it above all else.” It is a resilience and joy she has found through the hard work of healing. I can see in her a faith that believes in a God who was and is and is to come. If she can find that faith, can’t I? Yet the violence just keeps coming. I feel impotent. As a teacher, a lover of children, an American, a human, what do I do in the face of these acts of violence? Today, I sit in the darkness of Advent, waiting. Begging, “Come Lord Jesus. Please. Come.”