This post was written for a personal blog for my 2 month old daughter. But, I thought it might be pertinent here too. Blessings, Rebecca
I was planning to finally update the blog this weekend. I was going to finally write about Thanksgiving and post pictures of you in your many Christmas outfits. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
I hope that by the time you read this, you will know what happened at Newtown, and that it hasn’t become so commonplace a thing that Newtown is just one in a string of episodes of indescribable violence. I hope that it doesn’t feel normal and that we haven’t become desensitized to utter tragedy.
For the past few days, I’ve spent a lot of time holding you, baptizing your soft head with the tears I’ve wept for those parents who will never hold their sweet babies again. I’ve prayed and watched the news and read the news stories about the heroic teachers. I’ve talked about it with family and friends, none of us being able to find the words to describe the unspeakable horror and what it means to live in a world where something like this could happen. I can’t even imagine how it would be to wake up one day to an empty bed where you used to sleep, and I think about those mommas and daddies all day long.
Yesterday, we took you to the children’s Christmas pageant at church, and I gave thanks the whole hour for all the beautiful children in that room. Singing their hearts out on the stage and watching intently from the floor in the aisles and sitting on their parents laps and standing up in the chairs for a better view. All those little minds and bodies and spirits with futures as wide open as the sky. And I wondered why, in heaven’s name, do we get to be the people who are sitting at a Christmas pageant instead of waiting for news at a fire house this weekend. I asked God to keep all of you safe and to help you be the people who will change our world for the better.
Clara, there are a lot of things that I could say. I could talk about gun control or our mental health care system. And those are worthy conversations, ones that are important for your future and ones that we need to have.
But that’s not my area of expertise, and so I’ll talk about what I know.
I won’t pretend to be an expert on God, but if I didn’t talk about faith now, mine sure wouldn’t be worth much. And if you don’t wonder where God is when children die, then I haven’t done my job to pass it on to you.
I’ve thought a lot about where God is in the past couple of days. Indeed, it sometimes seems like a Godless world. And there are all these posts going around facebook about how God isn’t in our schools anymore because we told him to leave.
But those are lies. Nobody can tell God to leave. God is so much bigger than that.
And so, where was God?
God was wiping away the tears of terrified children.
God was giving courage to the teachers who performed incredible acts of valor.
God was welcoming Dawn, Victoria, Mary, Anne Marie, Rachel, and Lauren with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
God was gathering up and holding twenty little babies because God has the biggest arms ever.
God was steadying the hands and strengthening the hearts of the first responders.
God was giving words to the men and women who had to tell parents that their children were not coming home.
God was working in the hearts of the nation, giving us compassion for people we will never know.
But I think more than anything else, God was and is weeping with us. God is mourning with the parents of those twenty little kids. God is wailing because the children are no more.
Because next week, we will celebrate the God who comes.
That’s what is different about our God. God comes to us as a baby and lives among us as a child. God loves us like a father and a mother. God walks with us through our darkest hours and celebrates even our smallest moments of light.
Our God comes.
God with us. Weeping with us, laughing with us, singing with us.
And in that, there is hope.