It just feels wrong to go on writing blog posts without addressing the devastating news from Friday morning. It’s been hard to think about anything else to be honest, and I hope that writing out my thoughts will help other people in some way, shape or form.
Like everyone else, I’m brokenhearted, shocked and feel sick to my stomach thinking that 26 innocent people who lost their lives at an elementary school last Friday. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the incident all weekend and asking the “Why? How?” questions. Most of the victims were six or seven years old.
My heart breaks thinking of the hundreds of family members who are now without their child, mother, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, grandchild. My heart is broken for the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School whose innocence was stolen way too early, whose school life experience is shaken for the rest of their lives. My heart is broken for our entire country who has seen public shootings devastate the lives of so many people and families – Columbine, the Aurora movie theater, Virginia Tech, the list unfortunately goes on and on. My heart is broken for the people who have suddenly lost a loved one in the past, as this incident most likely re-triggered sad emotions and very hard memories.
There is so much evil in our world and mental illness is very real and scary and dangerous – and needs to be addressed and handled as such. I can’t help but ask why bad things happent to good, innocent people. And I just don’t have an answer.
When looking for answers, I’ve circled the promise in Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Brokenhearted means “burdened with great sorrow, grief or disappointment.” And that’s how we often feel after a death, especially like the shocking, unthinkable shooting that happened last Friday; broken. Author Sheila Walsh wrote, “For all of us, there will be times when God seems far away and prayers bounce off the ceiling. It is at these moments- that we must choose. We can give in to despair, or we can keep going on in simple trust.” What we can do is trust.
What we can do in these terrible, tragic and hard situations is hold onto hope that this season of grief will not last forever. We can rest in the promise that we are never, ever alone. We don’t just “get over” a death and fully completely heal from sadness, but we can trust that although we are broken, we are blessed. We can trust that beauty comes from ashes. What we can do is remember the joy those individuals no longer with us brought to our lives. What we can do is appreciate the moment we are in with the people we love because life is very very short. What we can do is hug our family members a little tighter and live each moment of life to the fullest.
I’m reminded of the song “This is Your Time” written by Michael W. Smith shortly after Columbine. The lyrics are a simple reminder that now – right now – is the time to live fully. Here’s some lyrics: This is your time, this is your dance. Live every moment, leave nothing to chance. Swim in the sea, drink of the deep, embrace the mystery of all you can be.
Please join me in praying that a peace that passes all understanding would encompass everyone affected by this tragedy.
Lots of love,