As schools in Newtown reopened Tuesday, students began piling in for the first time after last week’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. Classes however for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary are not resuming just yet because the school that students once felt safe in remains an active crime scene. As a new facility in neighboring Monroe, Connecticut is prepped for their arrival many students, parents, teachers and Newtown residents are asking, “why?” and looking for answers and guidance from friends, family and religious leaders. Rev. TD Jakes is the pastor of Potter’s House, a Dallas-based nondenominational church with 30,000 members. This morning he joins “Starting Point” to discuss how a community heals from this kind of tragedy.
Jakes says when it comes to grieving it is important to remember that, “we are unique. We’re not a monolithic society at all. People respond to emotions differently.” He adds, “For some people it would be rather difficult to utter a sound. For other people it’s rather cathartic to be able to open up to express your love and devotions and to have the final words over someone that they love.” For this reason Jakes says he tries, “not to tell people how to manage their emotions and their relationships and how they choose to commemorate and honors the persons that they deeply love.”
Jakes says, “Just because a question is raised does not mean you have to provide an answer to it. There are some things that are handed to us in life that we do not know. That we do not understand.” The Reverend goes on to say, “its better not to give an answer at all than to give one inappropriately. That’s why we have faith for those things that we can not explain.”
On the topic of forgiveness Jakes says, “Today is not the day to embark upon such a huge mission as forgiveness. Today is a day to honor the victims that were slain, to process, to commemorate them, to take out pictures to hug, to hold hands, to bring around the people that you feel secure with and reaffirm your circle of love.” He says by doing this people can sort out their feelings and plan a, “new normal because the old normal is gone.”