(WARNING: After the break this posting contains descriptions that may be too visceral and too fresh for readers who have lost loved ones due to gun violence. I urge you to read the remainder of this post with that caution in mind.)
There is one picture from the Sandy Hook massacre I just can’t shake. I see it when I put my head on the pillow at night. I see it when I wake up in the morning. I saw it dance before my eyes as I drove to the office the other day.
It’s not a picture of one of the dead children, those beautiful, smiling kids whose lives were snuffed in the blink of an eye. I can’t forget those images, either, but they don’t haunt me in quite the same way. If God is truly as merciful as He promises, then I must believe they are with Him in paradise.
No, the image seared in my memory is the picture of a chain of children being led from the Sandy Hook Elementary school. I think the third girl in the chain is the one whose face I can’t shake. It’s the face of innocence lost, of adult horrors bestowed on too young a child. Her mouth is gaping, her eyes clamped shut. She is clearly sobbing. The trajectory of her life has been altered permanently by actions of unspeakable evil.