Robbie Parker is a remarkable man. He lost his daughter, Emilie, in the recent Newtown, Connecticut shooting. When I heard him talking on television, I thought, “He sounds like a Mormon.” When I mentioned this on Facebook, one of my friends told me that her husband had read on the Internet that Parker is, in fact, Mormon. What made me think he was?
He mentioned a few things that reminded me of certain terms that are used by Mormons. He talked about Heavenly Father, which is how Mormons often refer to God. I haven’t heard that anywhere else, although I might be wrong. But more than anything, it was his attitude of forgiveness that reminded me of some of the Mormons I know personally. So I wasn’t surprised at all to turn out that I was right. He seemed a little like Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped several years ago, someone who, while suffering through a terrible ordeal, maintained a grace that was truly impressive.
The thing that struck me the most when Parker was giving his press conference, was that he mentioned that he was praying for all of the victims and their families. But then he said something which shows the importance of having a deep, loving relationship with God, and an eternal perspective. He said that not only was he praying for the other families and their children, but also for the family of Adam Lanza. I believe he has also said that he forgives the shooter himself. Not many people reach this level of spirituality. He is a splendid example of what being a Christian means.
A lot of times, people remember the bad Christians or the bad representatives of other religions, whether it be bad Muslims, bad Christians, etc. But here is a great example of the kind of person someone religious should be. This is the point of being religious. To have such a close relationship with God that you view situations from His perspective. To be able to handle the trials that come with life, although of course there are few trials worse than dying before your child, especially when the child dies in such a violent manner. Parker’s own family are very lucky to have such a great friend or husband or father, whatever their personal relationship with him may be. It’s nice for a change to see a good example of a religion. Hats off to you, Robbie Parker, and I hope you get what you want out of life, on the way to reuniting someday with your beautiful daughter.
In one way, I understand what Parker is saying. Although I do not think he came out directly and said this, what he said made me think of something. Although of course there are 32 victims of Adam Lanza’s, and people feel very sorry for them and their families, in a way I feel sorry for Lanza, too. After all, from an eternal perspective, the children are on their way to Heaven. No one can judge Lanza, because only God can ascertain his level of accountability for his actions. But it’s certainly not unreasonable to suppose that Lanza may not be going to Heaven. Regardless of whether he is or not, consider the guilt he is going to feel when he does regain his sanity, if he already has not. He will forever be tortured by that. As painful as death is, it would be worse to not have a clear conscience, to know that you have afflicted such devastation on so many. I feel sorry for everyone involved, and am sorry that it happened. But I am glad that the tragedy introduced me to such a man as Robbie Parker. I hope I meet more like him one day, but under better circumstances.