Ross Douthat of the New York Times wrote a stirring piece today regarding the tragedy.
I'm humbled by what took place there. Humbled because it seems Newtown's schools took all the right steps and its adults tried to shield and protect. All those protocols, efforts, wisdom couldn't prevent 27 from being murdered.
Education had to refine its practices regarding such events of terror in the wake of the Columbine tragedy, and perhaps schools will once again go through the processes of making sure this doesn't happen again. But we cannot make any guarantees. We, educators, can make outcomes more or less likely, but we can never guarantee an outcome. Accepting our inability to control every situation requires humility and grace. Sadly, we'll move on from the Newtown tragedy unnerved by the reality that there is little more that school, or any other school, could do to prevent those murders.
So, we pray to a gracious and loving God. We pray that God keeps our children safe in school (and everywhere else they go), and keeps us safe in our places of business and in our homes. We pray that God helps us see others as humans worthy of God's love as well as ours. We treat others with kindness and compassion. Praying and treating others compassionately is within our control, and is what we can do in a world in which tragedy sometimes comes from circumstances we cannot try to control.