A Christian Mother’s Perspective on Newtown


My wife is amazing.  She somehow manages to straddle the worlds of pediatrics and pastor’s wife.  She is a wonderful friend, a devoted mother, and a very good writer.  This morning, as she dropped our daughter off at school for the first time after the Newtown, CT shootings, she jotted down some thoughts.  Mostly a personal therapeutic exercise, I thought her words would benefit a wider audience.  May her thoughts steer a hurting world towards the only source of hope we have!

Anyone who knows my little five year-old Anna Grace knows what a sweet and vibrant child she is.  She is all kisses and giggles and snuggles.  She is pure joy.  As I have watched the news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting over the past few days, I have been overwhelmed with sorrow.  As the victims’ faces and stories have been told on screen and online, I have wept over and again at the thought of precious children – like my sweet Anna Grace – being murdered in such a way.  I have been overwhelmed in a way that I never have been before.  I’ve contemplated evil and human nature and mental illness, and I’ve read dozens of comments and blogs and articles on such.  And I’ve come to conclude this… Our world is broken.  We cannot legislate gun control and better mental healthcare and fix this.  It’s everywhere. Brokenness is the rule, not the exception.  There are not enough psychiatrists in the world to fix the problem.  But here is the reality – even if there were… they couldn’t fix us.  Only a holy and righteous God can.  That is the message of the Bible – a broken world in need of a Savior.  And the marvelous story of Christmas…. God sent us a Savior!!!!!  The problem is, most of us don’t think we are broken, don’t think we need saving, think we can fix ourselves on our own.  And then a shooter walks into a small-town school and assassinates 6 year-olds.  And we are reminded – we can’t fix ourselves.  This Christmas, I will celebrate the Savior’s birth with a deeper appreciation of its meaning.  And I will recommit to live my life on purpose – with a message of a God who can, and will, make all things right – who “so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”


Published by robsumrall

I'm a pastor at the most wonderful church, Crossroads Baptist Church of Elizabethtown, KY. I am married to my best friend and am raising three great kids!

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  1. Thanks Michelle – and Rob for sharing her thoughts. We can’t quite grasp this whole tragic situation – our minds just can’t seem to fathom such evil and such totally needless sorrow. At a time when our hearts should be filled with the greatest joy at the coming of our Savior, we are forced to face up to the loss of others and the horrible emptiness of one who would commit such a senseless act. May this Christmas be an especially blessed one for you and your family as you enjoy it with your beautiful children and may our Gracious God richly bless your lives.

  2. Your wife IS amazing! She is always so positive when everything is negative (especially me!). She will always stop and listen, talk, advise no matter how far behind she is! Just the sound of her voice is enough to calm a frazzled parent, child or co-worker. When I read this on her Facebook page it reminded me of all that is important. I could hear her voice through the words she wrote. There are few people in this world that I can say have truly blessed my life, personally and professionally- Michelle Sumrall is at the top of that list!

  3. Thank you Bro Rob. I have felt very heavy hearted and discouraged the last few days. This is a reminder to me once again that my hope is in Jesus Christ. Thanks to You and Michelle for what you are to our church. My family loves you both.

  4. Well written! Amen! We can not fathom the mind (or heart) of a mentally ill (or evil) individual that would bring such tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones left behind, may God bring them peace and strength to endure. But I have to make one observation, even though evil prevailed on that fateful day, God began his work immediately…. The President quoted scripture (when faith is seldom mentioned from his lips), churches were packed, people were praying, prayer viguals were held… Why, Dear Lord? I’m not questioning Your why? I’m questioning OUR why? Why does it take some form of tragedy to bring us to You? When our eyes should be on You ALL the time?!?! In this life there will be pain, wars, sickness, suffering & death. But w/your grace, there will hope, peace, love & eternal life. My prayer: May the sacrifice of these beautiful little ones be “the light” to bring others to the One and Only who sacrificed for ALL – Christ our LORD! May this tragedy put Your name and Your will back into our darkening society. May we focus on You and not on things of this world!

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