“Please stand for 26 seconds of Silent Meditation” the Principal’s request sounded over the PA system at 9:30am on Friday, December 21.
Students and teachers stood up in their classrooms; the clerical staff quietly rose from their desks. Support staff en route in the hallways on an errand, stopped in the hallway. Building maintenance workers put down the wrench they were using to address a plumbing issue. The kitchen staff took their hands from the day’s meal preparation, and turned off the radio.
For 26 seconds, we stood, 1200 of us at a local Junior High School, to honor the memory of the children and staff who were slain the week before at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The deaths of these Holy Innocents did not make sense to anyone. Deaths of children, and our colleagues, were difficult to deal with. Hard questions were asked: Where was God when this happened? Where is He now?
During these 26 seconds, the entire building was quiet. 1200 people in Silent Meditation. The Quiet Voice of God can be heard: I was there with them. I am with their families. I am here now and I will always be with you.
A sense of peace… He is with us always.
Receive, we pray, into the arms of your mercy all innocent victims; and by your great might frustrate the designs of evil tyrants and establish your rule of justice, love and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord…Amen. From the Collect for the Holy Innocents, Book of Common Prayer
© Diane L. Neuls DeBlasio 2012