Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 14, 2012

Shooting at Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook ElementaryThis morning while you and I were brushing our teeth and getting ready to face a new day, a young man named Adam Lanza was preparing to face his last day. For still unknown reasons, Lanza shot and killed his own mother and then left his family home dressed in black, wearing a bullet-proof vest, and armed with three weapons. Lanza then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School and did the unimaginable. He killed twenty innocent and defenseless children and six adults, including the school’s principal. This senseless act of violence prompted Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy to lament, “Evil visited this community today.” President Obama noted, “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.” And, indeed we have, even in the past few weeks. The shooting at Sandy Hook is now on record as the second deadliest shooting of any kind in US history.

It is hard to make sense of a tragedy like this. Even as more details unfold in the coming days, this information will do little to lessen the pain that so many families are experiencing today and will continue to feel for a lifetime. I was working in my garage when a friend called to tell me about the shooting and asked what we could do to help. I then spent the next several hours listening to news reports about this tragedy. There is no way to make sense of something like this but there are things we can do.

Pray | As Christ-followers we should pray for those who suffered unimaginable loss today. We should also pray for the survivors and for the first-responders who walked in to the school to deal with the aftermath of the shooting.

Weep | The Scriptures admonish believers to “weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). This is a national tragedy that has both stirred the outrage and concern of each of us. Weeping with those who weep is a way for us to identify with and to express our concern for those who have suffered loss.

Care | My friend Kristen Dry, who had called earlier to alert me about the tragedy, later texted to tell me what she and her daughter Grace were going to do to support the families. Kristen explained things to her young daughter in age-appropriate terms and this, in turn, prompted a conversation about practical ways to express concern.

Acknowledge | It is at times like these that we are forced to acknowledge anew the value of human life. The destruction of life grieves God and it should also grieve us and prompt us to protect it. I am sure that those in the highest circles of government will talk much about issues like gun control in the coming days. However, beyond gun control, at the core of this tragedy is a disregard for the sanctity of human life.

Remember | Tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook should prompt Christ-followers to remember that we have a sympathetic Savior who understands hostility because He experienced it at the hands of those who crucified Him.

Trust | At times like this we should also trust in the promises and assurances that we find in God’s Word. According to verses like Psalm 34:18, we are assured that He “is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” And although we cannot possibly imagine how, we should still trust that God will work to accomplish His purposes through this tragedy.

Assurance | The Sandy Hook shooting is also a reminder that evil is real and that Satan’s agenda is still the same: “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10b). However, we can be assured that evil will not triumph. And, those who do evil will ultimately stand before the court of the King of the universe. Martin Luther King Jr. rightly observed, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

We will learn more in the days to come. In the meantime, may we intentionally cherish each moment we have with loved ones and friends.


  1. Omar, thank you for writing with such sensitivity, wisdom and discernment on a time in our nation’s history that we will never be able to comprehend. May God being healing to our land and draw us to Himself. Doyle

    • Amen. And, may we as Christ-followers remain sensitive to every opportunity to bring hope and healing to the hurting during this national tragedy.

  2. Thank you for your insight today in this tragedy.

    Irene Isenberger

    Sent from my iPad

    • Thanks. Praying for the hurting this evening.

  3. Your words of wisdom and discernment bring us comfort Omar … thank you for this quick and sensative response to a pain the whole country is feeling today. It’s days like this one that make me want to curl up into a little ball and pretend I live in a different world – and I am so thankful that we have a better one to look forward to. Bendiciones my friend.

    • It has been a sad day. The overcast skies in Houston seemed to add to the sadness, as if to remind us that all of heaven was grieving. We are indeed fortunate to have a better world waiting for us and that as Christ-followers we grieve with hope.

  4. Nuestras oraciones estan con sus familiares!!! Thank you Pastor Omar!!!!

    • Gracias, Carlos. Las familias de los niños asesinados necesitan nuestras oraciones en este momento. La gente de nuestra nación también necesita oración mientras tratamos de entender a esta tragedia nacional.

  5. Omar, how I appreciate your friendship and wisdom. I am thankful that God arranged for us to be friends. I posted this too on my FB page. May God bless us all. May God continue to bless you with wisdom.

    • Thanks so much, Dacques. Appreciate your friendship and encouragemt.

  6. My vision is that as those innocent children were being shot is that God folded them into His arms. I hear Him saying that I got this, all of this. I try not to ask why because only God knows that answer. I do not see any real explanation except Satan.

    Thank you for saying this and it bears repeating.

    • Good word, Amy. While we do not and may never know the why behind this tragedy, we do know the One in whom we can trust.

  7. […] Shooting at Sandy Hook ( […]

  8. Omar, thank you for your blog. It reminds us of where we place our trust and how to be a blessing to those we may never know.
    We miss you!!

    • Thank you, Christy. It has been good to see our nation embrace the people of Newtown in both prayer and support. Regards to the family. Miss you all.

  9. […] girls, eight boys, and seven adults will be laid to rest in Newtown, Connecticut — all victims of Adam Lanza’s shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The first two funerals are scheduled for today for six-year old […]

  10. […] Shooting at Sandy Hook ( […]

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