Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Day After

Yesterday was rough for the whole country. And for those families in CT, life will be rough for a long time.

I got a text from one of my best friends right after the massacre happened, simply asking if I was okay. I hadn't seen the news yet (I was head-down in work), and she checks on me pretty frequently, so I didn't think much of it. I texted back about looking forward to having a real day off on Saturday.

A few hours later, I got on Facebook to catch up (yes, that's how I get my news a lot of the time -- television news depresses me too much) and saw what had happened. After I posted about how my heart was breaking for those families, more friends started calling, texting and emailing. The consensus was they were all worried about how I was taking it, and no one wanted to be the one to break the news to me.

That is incredibly touching. I appreciate that my friends and family worry that the news of the massacre would bring back my own pain.

But here's the truth of it. It didn't bring up any more pain for me -- because the pain never really goes away. There's never a moment that my loss isn't very real and very close to me. Over time, I'm just learning how to live with it better. The pain never lessens, never goes to the back of my mind.

So my heart broke for those families that lost children yesterday. I don't want anyone to ever know the pain of losing a child -- I don't want companions in this club of mine. So I feel for them, literally, but I also mourn the fact that they now know how I feel. I don't want anyone to know how I feel! Ever!

In one of my Bible studies recently, the leader was talking about the Jessica Ridgeway murder. She said, "I just can't imagine how her parents must feel. Can you?" She didn't know the details of my own loss, and I was so choked up at the question, I didn't say anything. But I wanted to. I wanted to say I knew exactly how her parents felt -- the horror, the guilt, the questions, the pain of part of your heart being cut away. It was a different circumstance from my own, but the loss was the same.

And as for my spiritual stance on this, I can tell you right now this tragedy wasn't God's will. This was pure evil at work. There is nothing good in the death of a child. There is nothing good in murder. There is no purpose in tragedies like this.

Yes, God works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28) -- but note the "all things together" there. It will take a long time for anything good to arise out of this event, and other things will be working together with it to create that good. There will never be a point at which these families look back at their loss and say, "It was for the best." I can promise you it was not for the best. But some of those families will arise from these ashes, some of them will find their way again, some of them will find their strength. Some will do none of that. So we have to send love to them all. We have to pray for their strength, for their comfort, reassurance and healing. We have to send as much good energy to those families as we can because we are part of the "all things together." Every single one of us has a part in this.

Whether you pray, send good vibes, meditate, or whatever it is you do to send love into the world, do it now. It matters. I know from personal experience it matters.

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