As news surfaced this morning…

…I found myself engaged in something most all of us have dealt with, today, from a distance. Watching video’s as those surfaced and looking over the photo’s beginning to amass on websites cut short my keeping focused like the past professional I was. Today, I cried and not figuratively, I cried watching parents hurriedly moving their kids back to the car, keeping their distance from all the news media. I bawled as things surfaced about those adults who had lost their lives.


My intense response to learning of the adult victims found it’s source in hoping the same hadn’t also claimed the life of my daughter. She’s teaching here in the metro-Denver area and over toward but not in the Columbine High School. I had no overt thought about her or Columbine. No, a foreboding ‘what if’ struck me without my every catching sight of it.

A little over two years ago, I learned of the death of my son. I probably across the next few days cried harder and longer than my mother ever saw. Lossing a child by accident, homicide or suicide inflicts on his or her parents an intensity of feelings making why our child is gone, unimportant. All that matters is that she or he will not be with us again.

I don’t know what it is like to lose a child to homicide. Lossing my own to a suicide doesn’t make it worse, let alone better. It simply hurts. Tenaciously holding to loving my son as a father powerfully heals while not ending this pain. Wrapping an arm around him in my prayers and holding him before the Risen Christ doesn’t anticipate where he has put himself in God’s eyes. My holding to this young man is one more fashion of keeping apace with what Maximos the Confessor  and many other of the Church Fathers have advocated … “always thinking good of every man.”

My effort is not in telling God I won’t come home if my boy can’t. Rather, I love him regardless of his actions.

Now, keep the parents who had tragically lost a child in your prayers and any acts of humility and love you can show them. Remain consistent in remembering those families who lost a parent or spouse this morning. In time, begin remembering Adam Lanza and his family in your prayers, as well. Work at learning to see everyone in this tragedy.

Why? I have found it painfully simple. By pushing anyone aside in my prayers I have pushed them all aside.

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