|Kelly Tenkely| April 20, 1999 is a day I will never forget. At 11:40am I was sitting in my Algebra 2 class at Chatfield High School in Littleton. A girl frantically interrupted our class to let us know that we were in lock down. There was a shooting in progress at Columbine High School. It was the second year that we had cable in the classroom so we turned on the news to connect us to the outside world (this occurred before the time when cellphones were ubiquitous). On the screen we watched tragedy unfold. Our sports rivals, neighbors, friends were pouring out of the building. Tears. Chaos. Heartbreak.
We were released early from school. Then came the waiting, the praying. We waited for long hours to hear from friends and loved ones. We kept lists to help us keep track of those who had been heard from. Names accounted for, assurance of safety.
And then came the other list and the prayer changed. We didn’t want to hear those names. Those who didn’t make it out of the building. Those whose lives were taken. Hearing those names was heart breaking, they weren’t just names, they were stories. Each name represented a life lived full of laughter, tears, successes and failures. Humanity.
Names are important. In the Bible, names have a special significance because they tell part of the story. Names were very intentionally given based on characteristics. Sometimes those names were changed, like when Saul became Paul on the road to Damascus. The change of name was an indicator of a new story to be told, a conversion.
On December 14, 2012 we heard the awful message that Newtown, Connecticut was in crisis. That tragedy had come again, this time to an elementary school, Sandy Hook. Heartbreak. 26 names. 26 stories. We’ve talked a lot about names at Anastasis. The significance of a name. The story we want our name to represent. The way that just saying a name can be like a prayer. God knows the story behind each name.
Today, Team Anastasis read the 26 names of Sandy Hook. A prayer for each life connected to those that were lost. The heartbreak will feel fresh every year for those that lost someone dear. The brokenness of humanity raw. You, dear friends, are never alone, never without Hope. Seek the light. Remind yourselves daily that amidst the brokenness we walk on holy ground. God has been here. He knows the brokenness, the heartbreak. He has brought redemption and light. Live in this reality. God is for you. May you rest in His goodness, His redemption, His reconciliation.
-Charlotte Bacon – Daniel Barden – Rachel Davino – Olivia Engel – Josephine Gay – Ana M. Marquez-Greene – Dylan Hockley – Dawn Hochsprung – Madeleine F. Hsu – Catherine V. Hubbard – Chase Kowalski – Jesse Lewis – James Mattioli – Grace McDonnell – Anne Marie Murphy – Emilie Parker – Jack Pinto – Noah Pozner – Caroline Previdi – Jessica Rekos – Avielle Richman – Lauren Rousseau – Mary Sherlach – Victoria Soto – Benjamin Wheeler – Allison N. Wyatt