God’s Hand was There at Sandy Hook Elementary

Even in the face of unspeakable horror, God’s Hand is there to grant Mercy and Refuge.  As time passes, stories are coming to light.  Stories of how the staff rose to heroically save lives.

Shots rang out at 9:30am when Principal Dawn Hochsprung , school psychologist  Mary Sherlach and the school’s vice principal ran to the sound of the guns.  As she confronted the maniac her words were heard over the school intercom which had been switched on by persons unknown at this time. Their heroic act alerted the staff and gave them time to protect the children. Dawn and Mary  were then shot to death. The vice principal [name withheld] was wounded in the foot but managed to crawl to safety.

Victoria Soto had enough time to hide her first graders in a classroom closet before the killer entered the room. When he asked where the children were, Soto said “They are not here, they went to the gym.”  She was then executed but her children were safe. The killer moved on.

Victoria Soto

Staff in the gym shepherded children into an office and locked the door. When the madman got to the gym he found it empty.

Kaitlin Roig hid with her 15 first graders in a tiny bathroom.  “I said to them, ‘I need you to know that I love you all very much and that it’s going to be OK,’ because I thought that was the last thing they were ever going to hear”.  She told them,”‘There are bad guys out there now. We need to wait for the good guys,”   They were in the closet for an hour when the police finally knocked on the door, Roig made them shove the badges under the door.  Even then she said that if they were really the police they would have a key to unlock the door.  Which the cops then went to get and unlock the door.

A custodian ran through the halls yelling,” Guys! Get down! Hide!'”.   Mary Ann Jacobs, who worked as a clerk in the school library moved 18 children into an office but when the door couldn’t be locked had them low crawl to a closet.  Finding crayons and paper there, the children were put to work coloring to keep them quiet. She also didn’t open the door until a police badge was shoved under the door.

Second grade teacher Abbey Clements realized she was hearing gunshots on the intercom. With bullets flying in the hallway she opened her door and snatched a couple of students to the safety of a locked closet in her classroom.

Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher. “That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”  A group of older children found themselves without a teacher when the shooting started.  They organized their own escape to safety.

At 9:38am the murderer shot himself in the head and it was over.

Eight minutes that shattered so many lives. We mourn for those who were murdered.  We pray knowing that Jesus has embraced 20 beautiful little souls and their teachers gave their full measure of sacrifice to fight the Evil that invaded their school.  We give thanks to God’s Mercy and Blessings for those who were spared.  Truly the Holy Spirit swept through Sandy Hook Elementary  and girded ordinary people with heroic courage.








Smell That?

I got this in the email this morning. I had to post it. Find out why.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery.
Her husband, David , held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news.

That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Caesarean to deliver couple’s new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.

At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature.

Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs.

‘I don’t think she’s going to make it,’ he said, as kindly as he could.

‘There’s only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one’

Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.

She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.

‘No! No!’ was all Diana could say.

She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four.

Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.

But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana ‘s underdeveloped nervous system was essentially ‘raw’, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love.

All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.

But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there.

At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.

And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.

Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life.

She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother, Dustin’s, baseball team was practicing.

As always, Dana was chattering non-stop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby, when she suddenly fell silent.  Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, ‘Do you smell that?’

Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, ‘Yes, it smells like rain.’

Dana closed her eyes and again asked, ‘Do you smell that?’

Once again, her mother replied, ‘Yes, I think we’re about to get wet. It smells like rain.’

Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, ‘No, it smells like Him.

It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.’

Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.

Before the rains came, her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along.

During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.