I've been trying, for the past week or so, to process the events which unfolded in Connecticut.
I want to pay a tribute to the memory of those who lost their lives and, while any words I could offer are nothing short of inadequate I feel I need to write something...
Any time a tragedy, such as Sandy Hook, occurs, we (as members of the human race) are brought face to face with the reality of evil. Real, tangible, unavoidable evil. Evil that has haunted humanity since its earliest days. Evil that refuses to rest, and refuses to relent.
We see it on a daily basis, yet Sandy Hook took horror to new levels, as some of the most precious, innocent members of our society were the victims. Caught in the cross hairs of man's curse. As I write this now, I think of my family, my loved ones. I think of my siblings, cousins, and my darling baby niece.
I feel anger, and rage. I feel the need to hold back tears, and I'm left with one question...How?
How could someone be that monstrous???
But the how doesn't heal the hearts which are bleeding in this moment.
How, doesn't fill the empty space at the dinner table, or the absence of laughter in now shattered homes.
I want the victims' families to know that we are all with you. Standing in solidarity, and mourning alongside you. We cannot fully fathom your pain, but we stand with you nonetheless. We're praying that the hands that formed this world hold you tightly, and bring you peace in this time of trial...
As I tried to process this tragedy this past week, my mind wandered to the second installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In the Two Towers, King Theoden of Rohan, previously under a spell of inaction, has been reawakened to find his kingdom on the verge of ruin.
As he looks around at all falling apart around him. The ruins of the glory that once existed in his kingdom, which is now being overrun with the hordes of evil.
And I remember feeling, what Theoden must have been feeling in that moment. Numb. Paralyzed. Despairing.
When all that is good, and bright in the world has been extinguished it's hard to feel anything else.
In that moment, he laments all that is lost saying this;
"So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?"
Anytime we hear stories of tragedy, I'm sure we've all experienced this moment.
When all the pieces are shattered, and we look around at the chaos, and ask what we can do with the remnants of the life we knew...
In response to the king's lament, Aaragorn Son of Aarathorn responds:
"Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them!"
This makes me think of the phoenix.
The phoenix, in mythology, was a bird of the sun which cyclically regenerated itself. The way it was born into new life was from the ashes of its predecessor...
There are two choices we face when we begin to deal with tragedies. We have the choice to become ashes, a shadow of what was. Or we have the choice to rise anew from those ashes. We have the choice to let evil have the power, but there is also the choice to allow the sun to rise upon the evil, and burn away the oppressive night it casts upon the world.
We owe it to those who were lost in this horrific tragedy to live, and strive to create a better world for generations to come. We owe it to their memory to rise, and to use each breath to make the world a brighter, lighter place.
I encourage you friends, grieve, mourn, and pay respects. This is necessary, but what is also necessary is to come forth from the darkness, when the time is right.
We must rise from this.