Understanding what has just happened in New Town, Connecticut? Let me answer this one in two words–we can’t!!
I don’t pretend to know what evil is. I don’t pretend to understand the disordered, chaotic mind of a cold-blooded killer of innocent children. I don’t pretend to know what went so horribly wrong in the brain/mind of that young killer. Was it a biochemical distortion, was it the result of some genetic mutation in the way his thought processes worked? Even the most hardened criminal would be sickened by what occurred in Sandy Hook.
Can we prevent such horrific acts from occurring again? Can we identify disturbed individuals and forcibly engage them in therapy and perhaps drug treatment? Can we protect our schools with armed guards? And what can we offer to the grieving families?
As with 9/11 we are humbled by the enormity of the suffering. Our power to understand anything dissolves in an instant.
For a moment we hug our own kids more. We forget the distractions and worries about our personal problems, things that pale in comparison to what suffering has just occurred. We can only offer condolences.
We can remain silent right now.
We can step outside of our analytic minds, the part of us that tries to bring meaning to all situations. We can move from our heads into our hearts, a place of feeling, not thinking. Just now we can’t understand what has occurred, we shouldn’t try.
In this moment, our spiritual presence, our wish to relieve the suffering of strangers who are like ourselves, our prayers. For a moment these people are not strangers. Our common humanity binds us in a shared grief. For a moment all barriers dissolve. It is place of deep feeling, not of thinking.
It is a place that surpasses all understanding.