My heart is so heavy today. Today, a clearly disturbed young man walked into an elementary school and took the lives of his mother, 20 young children and several other people. I am a teacher. All day, my mind has raced about what those teachers, administrators, and students could have been thinking amid the chaos that had overtaken their school. Their safe zone so carelessly violated. No parent should ever have to fear that their child may not return from school one day. No teacher should ever have to wonder if their leaving for work will be the last time they see their loved ones. No student should ever have to worry if their classmates and teacher will be the last people they ever see. In light of this awful tragedy, I offer a prayer for those who lost their lives today, those who lost their faith today, and those who are just lost today. Dear God, please take those who have been so deeply affected by senseless tragedies today and hold them close in your arms. Please assure them that while their loved ones are no longer with us on our imperfect earth, they are now with you in your perfect kingdom. Please help the people on this earth realize that nothing ever gets easier and we, as people, can only get stronger. Please give us the guidance and foresight to realize that only we can change ourselves and our behavior. Please give us the wisdom to understand that tragedy shapes who we are forever and without it, we can never know how to be truly happy. Please work hard to heal--and not harden--our hearts in light of the loss of these children and their educators. Help each of us to live out each day to its extent and remind us how lucky we are to do so. Please help us to become better, kinder, more simple people and walk through each day as best we can. Please always remind us that while we fail You daily, You will never fail us. In your name we pray, Amen.