December 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm , by Nick Shell
2 years, 1 month.
Last Friday, I wrote to you about how I was Processing The Newtown, Connecticut School Shooting As A Parent. A week later, the unthinkable event that happened at Sandy Hook is still on everyone’s minds.
There’s a lot of talk going on right now about how we as a nation can prevent another tragedy like this from happening again. I’m not ready to join that public conversation… yet.
Instead, today in my letter to you, I want to share a different letter to a different Jack. It has been circulating the Internet since USA Today reporter Yamiche Alcindor tweeted this photo of a letter to 6 year-old Jack Pinto, from his best friend John:
You are my best friend. We had fun together. I will miss you. I will talk to you in my prayers. I love you Jack.
I’m predicting it’s pretty difficult for anyone to read the letter to Jack Pinto without being deeply emotionally reached; especially after seeing the pictures of Jack and John together.
For me personally, it’s tough not only because this story reflects how what happened last week affected innocent lives, but also because it’s pretty easy for me to imagine you in this picture.
It’s not something I want to say out loud, but the truth is that what happened in Sandy Hook could have instead happened in any other small town in America. Instead, I want to believe that you’re the exception to the rule and that I will always be there to protect you.
I wish somehow you were immune to chaos like this from ever getting anywhere near you. I wish I could promise you that our family would always be safe. Since I can’t promise it, I pray for it instead.
Like Jack Pinto’s best friend, John, I turn to God even in, and especially in, times like these. And from the sound of it, so is a lot of America.
I can’t remember the last time it was so popular to publicly talk about praying and trusting in God, like the way I’ve seen in the past week. It’s encouraging to see news anchors on major networks, without fear of being perceived as politically incorrect or unprofessional, so willingly interviewing priests, pastors, and churchgoers whose faith is helping them through this.
As I mentioned in my letter about this last week…
It’s times like these that cause some people to ask, “If there is a God, why would He allow such an unthinkable event to happen?”
Others ask, “How could an event like this not cause people to turn to God, in the hope that there is a saving grace stronger than the depravity of man?”
Son, we are of the latter mindset: We are not without hope in this life.