‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’

Back in the late 80’s I vividly remember seeking an answer from God concerning mental illness; Why it occurs, is it demonic or psychological, etc. etc. Looking back, there’s not one thing or incident I can point too for why I found myself suddenly interested in knowing this, or why I sought God for answers. Though I have wondered if it could have been God preparing me to work with physically and mentally handicapped children…which suddenly happened a year later.

What I also don’t know is how, as a Christian, to answer people who look for answers to the reasons for a family member’s mental illness. Do you? If you do, I’d greatly appreciate if you’d share your thoughts on this.

Anyway, this story really touched me. The actions of this woman’s son reminded me (to a lesser degree) of a boy in my classroom.

Written by Liza Long

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid b****. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid b****. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan — they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

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6 comments on “‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’

  1. I do not wish to make light of what happened at Sandy Hook School… yet it alarms me when I hear people using the term: ‘ mental illness’ when trying to examine what provoked someone to Kill; especially when it involves little children. I would like to ask Jesus if Judas was mentally ill, or is it as His Word tells us: he (satan) entered in.

    Do we understand the difference between Mental Illness and Satan entering in??

    I grew up with a Schizophrenic brother, and I love him. He is quite wicked when not on medication; yet it seems his wicked behavior is aimed at himself; not others.

    A man I worked for has a grandson who is considered to have RAD. Everything in life is about him, and he cannot empathize, sympathize, or exhibit any real compassion toward someone’s pain. He knows how to imitate what seems like compassion; yet it is not there. He has to be watched all the time.

    These two examples of course are Mental Illness.

    What concerns me here are two issues: 1) What kind of actions will take place to those who may fall under this category, and will all who are considered or diagnosed mentally ill be suspect for Killing in Society? 2) When the gun law goes into effect are we then going to see far greater fears arise when other methods are used in Killing Sprees?

    I am fully aware that when speaking to secular or even Christian Psychiatrists about the differences the whole idea of satan entering in is not a topic open for discussion.

    If it seems as if killing sprees inside schools have increased over the years maybe you could do a study on it… I did and used my own City and State as an example. In the last 100 yrs. there have been at least 600 shootings in Schools.

    This did not alarm me. I remember Security Patrol in the schools I attended. Why do we think we don’t need them today?

    The wrong hands always obtain the weapons and know how to obtain them.

    • Yes H i agree, the fact that many suffer with mental illness should not be an indication these same people are necessarily a danger to themselves or capable of harming others. If polled we’d most likely find everyone has either a close (or distant) family member who suffers with some form of mental illness, to one degree or another. You and i both are prime examples.

      On the other hand we also cannot ignore that there are people being treated (and sadly, many untreated), that suffer from forms of mental illness’ which can cause them to be a danger to themselves and even others.

      Do we understand the difference between Mental Illness and Satan entering in?

      Well, that was my question…do we. And where this isn’t the case, as Christians how do we answer people (especially other Christians) and explain to them from a biblical point of view, the reasons for their a family member’s mental illness.

  2. I located what looks to be an interesting website concerning this topic. H, you might want to check it out also.

    Serious mental illness and Christianity: Questions about responsibility

  3. If i may add another thought:

    As Christians, sooner or later, we’re going to come face to face with issues which may be considered controversial and cannot always be easily explained.

    But that doesn’t mean we should shy away from it or be afraid to look at it. Personally, i believe many believers do just that because they fear “looking at” or discussing an issue too closely (especially one without an easy-pat answer available) will shake their faith. You know, like if they can’t find one certain scripture which settles it and answers all the “whys” they become anxious and before long seeds of doubt (about God, the bible, etc.) are sown. I’ve seen this many times over the past 30-odd years, more so in new or young believers…

    We should never be afraid to look something in the face, nor should we be afraid to ask our Father “why” when we don’t understand. In fact, i think it pleases Him when we desire wisdom and knowledge (even concerning controversial issues) and seek both from Him.

    While we’ll never possess the answers to everything, at least on this side of the grave, knowledge and a deeper understanding, of ‘whatever’, is something we should pursue for as long as we live in this tent of flesh.

    And never forget, your faith is not a natural faith…its a supernatural faith which was given to you by God. As one preacher wrote, “its a rare type of faith gifted to you by God”. God won’t take that gift back folks….its yours.

  4. Yes, you are right PJ, we will in time come face to face with true dilemmas that reasoned responses don’t help overcome the dilemma if we have not arrived now already?

    Case in point is this peculiar constrasting result and memorial from Scripture:

    Num 25:5 And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”
    Num 25:6 And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting.
    Num 25:7 When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand
    Num 25:8 and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped.
    Num 25:9 Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.
    Num 25:10 And the LORD said to Moses,
    Num 25:11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy.
    Num 25:12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace,
    Num 25:13 and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.'”

    Hmmmm, Phinehas takes what is equivalent to a gun (rifle) and kills those two and God establishes a covenant of “Peace” afterwards because of this violent act.

    Here’s another one of those sorts of verses:

    Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
    Psa 46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

    Of the several “priesthoods” found in Scripture we too are considered a Royal Priesthood, who, according to Peter are to hasten the day of the Lord!

    2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
    2Pe 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
    2Pe 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

    Just think about it. Such great and powerful violence follows the prayers of this Royal Priesthood!

    What I find most striking in that vein is that the prayers of the Saints bring awful destruction upon the earth!

    Consider the Eighth Angel and what he does following the Saints’ prayers:

    Rev 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.
    Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?”
    Rev 5:3 And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it,
    Rev 5:4 and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it.
    Rev 5:5 And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”
    Rev 5:6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
    Rev 5:7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne.
    Rev 5:8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

    Rev 8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
    Rev 8:2 Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.
    Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne,
    Rev 8:4 and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.
    Rev 8:5 Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
    Rev 8:6 Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.

    In fact the angel of Death is allowed to kill and destroy because the Saints pray!

    Rev 6:8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth.

    The sad thing in my view is this whole debate about gun control is doing no justice to the Truth!

    Jeremiah in his writings, chapter 17, reveals that our heart being deceitful asks “who can understand this”? Only those given the Law can understand this as we see written here:

    Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
    Rom 3:20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

    Here’s something to consider if the folks have their way and all guns are banned from civilians in the United States. Consider the objects of murder used and where the issuing of murder comes from? Jesus, in His own Word gives us a better understanding of this in the Scriptures about where murder originates.

    Consider the objects of murder used, here:

    Num 35:16 “But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.
    Num 35:17 And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.
    Num 35:18 Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death.
    Num 35:19 The avenger of blood shall himself put the murderer to death; when he meets him, he shall put him to death.
    Num 35:20 And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, lying in wait, so that he died,
    Num 35:21 or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him.
    Num 35:22 “But if he pushed him suddenly without enmity, or hurled anything on him without lying in wait
    Num 35:23 or used a stone that could cause death, and without seeing him dropped it on him, so that he died, though he was not his enemy and did not seek his harm,
    Num 35:24 then the congregation shall judge between the manslayer and the avenger of blood, in accordance with these rules.

    Just recently in New York a man pushed another man to his death pushing him just at the right time so he was crushed to death by an oncoming transit train below 41st St.

    Should there now be bans on arms and hands accordingly (Num. 35:20-21)? Or, how about ban the human heart?

    I believe our best bet is to remain subject to this hope revealed, don’t you?

    Heb 2:5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
    Heb 2:6 It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
    Heb 2:7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,
    Heb 2:8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
    Heb 2:9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

    Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
    Heb 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

    • Here’s something to consider if the folks have their way and all guns are banned from civilians in the United States.

      Michael, i can’t foresee that ever happening, can you? Mainly because even those who for years have been demanding the strictest gun laws be implemented, are not even coming anywhere close to calling for “all” guns to be banned. Course they may be a few ‘fringers’ roaming around out there who’d love to see it happen. 🙂 But it won’t. For one thing the hunters in this nation (as are all the men in my own family) would go nuts if they couldn’t fulfill their “deer” and “rabbit” yearly fixation, ahaha…

      Yes, you are right PJ, we will in time come face to face with true dilemmas that reasoned responses don’t help overcome the dilemma if we have not arrived now already?

      Yes, during the lifetime of any (and all) Christians, we will face those times brother. Many of us ‘oldsters’, have im sure already faced a few of them 🙂

      The key is to never allow these instances to shake our faith. To remember our faith is based solely upon Christ and the work of the Cross…and, not upon things seen but upon things unseen.

      Also to accept we may never understand everything and that its ok.

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