USA (MNN) — The deadliest school shooting in United States history has everyone shaking their heads and asking, "Who does something like this? Who kills innocent children at school? How can someone be that evil?"
While those questions are common, branch operation director and mental health practitioner at Bethany Christian Services George Tyndall says children all over the country will be affected by this tragedy. "To see this sort of thing on the news can create fear, 'What if that happens at my school?' So then you could see responses from kids: stomach aches, headaches, and that sort of thing–complaints of not feeling well in an attempt to stay home, try to stay safe."
Tyndall continues, "Everyone's response is, 'How can this be? How can we go on?' With children, in particular, reestablishing that sense of safety is the number one piece."
Vice President for Outreach at Biblica, Rich Blanco, says, spiritually speaking, "There are just more and more reminders of us living in a fallen world. But I'm also reminded that as Christ-followers, we're called to overcome evil with good."
As Christians, what is our practical response? Blanco says,"[It's] the church stepping up and being the church: to care for those who have been impacted, to give them hope. It's a reminder that hope is really only found in one thing in this world, and that's the hope of the Gospel."
While the tragedy hit an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Blanco says the effects are far reaching. "Something like this affects thousands of people. It is an opportunity for the churches in that area to step up, just to be a listening ear, be a shoulder to cry on, and then at some point to also offer the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ."
Biblica offers Scripture resources to help those who are grieving. Blanco says "Deeper Still" is one such resource. It contains "quotes from people who have experienced such deep loss in their life–a book that ministers to people that have gone through that kind of loss. It has appropriate Scriptures that address the issue of grief, and comments and testimonies from people who have experienced that."
Biblica makes grants to supply these booklets to organizations working close to situations like the Connecticut school shooting. If you'd like more information on "Deeper Still," click here.