From "I am Adam Lanza's mother," by Liza Long, Huffington Post
[Upon taking her son to the hospital during one of his angry and threatening episodes] On the intake form, under the question, “What are your expectations for treatment?” I wrote, “I need help.”
And I do. This problem is too big for me to handle on my own. Sometimes there are no good options. So you just pray for grace and trust that in hindsight, it will all make sense.
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”
I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal.
God help me. God help Michael. God help us all.
From an interview with Anne Graham Lotz, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I assume if asked the question today, her answer would be the same. I don't agree with Anne theologically (I don't believe God ever abandons us, regardless of how often we turn away from him), but she makes an interesting statement.
When asked by an interviewer, "How could God let something like this happen?," she replied:
I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?
From a Facebook post by Rob MacPherson:
In the time I have been on Facebook, I have kept my political views to myself. Paraphrasing Nikki Perrine Passante, I feel like I am in the "sweet spot" when my conservative friends think I am a liberal and when my liberal friends think I am conservative. After today's events, I feel the need to be a part of the debate. I hear the call for tighter gun laws and I think of Prohibition - when we as a country outlawed alcohol and folks still found ways to continue to consume it. We have been killing each other since the dawn of time. Laws banning the supply do nothing to curb the demand. Agenda pushers on both sides of the argument will posture - they have no solutions, only points of view - which are often self-serving and hollow. At the end of the day, what we need is love. The kind of love that includes and encourages. The kind of love that involves and forgives. The kind of love that reminds us that in the final analysis, we are our brother's keeper. I don't know if Adam Lanza would have chosen a different path today had he felt a little more love. But I do know that the longer we ignore each other, the more time we spend self-indulged and detached, the greater the opportunity for senseless violence and heartbreak. I agree with all of those who call for us to hug our kids tonight. But I would also challenge you to think of those who will go un-hugged tonight - who will go un-loved. Pray for them too - they too are your brothers and sisters.
I leave you with this thought from Rev. Dr. Kirk Byron Jones:
"We cry and cling to the hope that God's love is as relentless as evil is heartless."
Amen to that.