How could I sing a Christmas carol when families are sobbing their loss? How can I continue shopping, when families are robbed of their joy? And how can I think of celebrating when families of those precious children are bombarded by tormenting thoughts?
This heart wrenching tragedy transported me to my own encounter with the sudden news that my child was gone. My child was brutally killed. My child was gone. Those words that explode horror and agonizing sorrow sliced my heart. They turned my world upside down.
The night we learned about the murder of our son turned black with disbelief. Words of comfort vanished into the darkness of grief. And attempts to hold it together were as impossible as sun at midnight.
I sat in the silence of night with the noise of grief blaring in my soul, wondering if my days left on this earth would see life. Or weather moments from now on would be lived in a dark gaze of nothingness.
But in all tragedy of life, there is a turning point. There is a moment when the heart begins to beat with glimpses of hope. There is that comfort that comes so subtly, personal and almost palpable. It’s God’s hand that brushes upon the soul to ease the pain.
My pain began to heal. Yet other parents’ agony just began. The crime that devastated families and took children’s lives yesterday is the first in America’s history. That’s a fact. But anger toward the man who fired at innocent children is like being angry at an ocean wave in the midst of a tsunami. Our rage should be at the tremor of evil that is shaking our country. The earthquake of evil that began, truly began when God was mocked, the name of His Son Jesus became a taboo word. And shameless force silenced prayer in our schools. And today, America is witnessing how that silence gave way to cries of horror in our children.
Yes, wars and unrest and violence have scarred our country. But wicked acts like these are victories for the evil that entered with audacity under the disguise of “being sensitive to others” or exercising foolish political correctness and hush the mention of God. And thus, in a not-so-polite manner, we asked God to leave us alone. And…He just might be doing that.
This fact has nothing to do with religion. But everything to do with a relentless cry for change.
Will we demand that America be once again the country founded under God’s principles? The America where leaders upheld the Bible rather than political agendas to guide their actions and decisions? When children attended school with no metal detectors at the door. Where teachers taught with liberty. Where parents trusted in the safety of school halls. Where the future of our country looked bright.
Let's pray that our leaders will turn those tears of empathy into action. America needs boldness to fight back evil. America cries out for courage to stand for the same principles upheld by the founding Fathers. We’re living in different times now, facing vicious evil attacks and horror is sweeping our country. Will this be enough to wake up America? Will this act be enough to dig in your soul and demand a drastic change? To invite God’s mercy to cover our country? For His power to be the shield to keep us from more horrors? For prayer to echo in our schools as the best weapon to defeat evil?
America is changing. And our outrage should be directed at the unwillingness to change the evil that is fiercely attacking us.
On my knees,
Janet Perez Eckles
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Author's Bio: 

My triumph began when I stopped trying to solve my problems on my own. I let go my stubborn pride, wiped the tears from my eyes, and nodded as I said ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to seek Him first. I invited Jesus to be the center of my life, the source of all and the light for my path. Then wisdom filled my heart. What a silly chica I had been–I was seeking first to see again, to have a ‘normal’ life. But God had a different order of priorities. And when I obeyed, to my delight, He put everything in place as He promised in Mathew 6:33.