I always wait a day or two to process a horrific event, such as what has again happened in our country, both the shooting of Christina Grimmie, as well as the mass shooting, now labeled the largest modern day mass shooting on American soil. I listen to what the media says. I watch the presidential response and this year, the candidates responses also. I pause and wait for the victim lists to become actual, tangible people that I can see because it is always important to me to know they are more than names and statistics. I want to look at them, read of them, and know who it is that their families are grieving because it matters to me. Those 50 people were someone's sons and daughters. I have to give them more in my mind that the statistic of being one of a number. So I wait for that list and I pour over it.
Most of all, however, I pray. I pray because every single time an event such as this happens, I just don't find comfort in what I am hearing and seeing in response to the tragedy. I mean, not an ounce of comfort is found in all of that. Only heartbreak... People blaming people; People hating people; Shattered lives hurting others, making more shattered lives; Political agendas being shoved down my throat from all directions; People trying to garnish attention for causes. The list is endless to what I observe every single time. I read some of the comments people make on posts and they are so cruel. Bashing people, making inappropriate statements that mock the situations, word fights, more threats... it just absolutely makes me crazy.
I am sitting there watching all of this and I just want to scream... "PEOPLE! Look around you. Does this not make you want to run to people you love and just do that... love them?" I find myself having to work really hard at not wanting to become a coward and retreat into a hiding hole with my children because I don't want to lose another child. I have experienced death of a child and I never, ever want to go through that again. But someone might want me to! Someone wanted to kill those people, for whatever reason, so they might want to kill mine or me as well! They might hate my patriotism and want me dead. Or they might hate the way I teach school. Or they may hate the way I wear flip flops. I don't know why someone might hate me or my family enough to want to kill us, but I think the reality is, we can all see that people do hate that much. It is proven time and again since the time sin hit this earth. People DO kill people and it scares the living daylights out of me.
I watch all these people start to go after each other with the blame game and I am so confused. When I see people hurting I want to go to them not yell at other people and try to be "right" about "my side" or "my views". I just want to comfort them, show them I care and that I know that their lives will never fully be recovered back to what it once was. I want to tell them to hang on because somehow, God is still here. He didn't stop it, but He didn't miss it either. And I want to tell them it is absolutely okay to be mad at God and yell at him and ask Him why. He is big enough for that! He wants us to ask Him and yell at Him. He doesn't care HOW we come to Him, He just wants us to come! I want to tell them they don't have to put on a strong face and say that God is good, because that is what faith is. No! Faith is saying, "I can't do this! WHY? WHY? WHY? Why would you let this happen, God? WHHHHYYYYYYYY?" That is faith, real, unedited, un-churchy faith.
And then I want to tell them that somehow in the midst of being mad and trying to make sense of it, a comfort would come that makes no sense at all. It would be like a washing that would flow so softly over their wounds that they wouldn't be able to pin point when it began. It would be like a quiet whisper enveloping and calming the screams of anguish this world has brought. It wouldn't explain the hurt or even extinguish it, but it would envelop it in a way that felt... held. It would calm them enough that they could take the next breath, then the next, for as long as it took to get past just breathing and take the next step, whatever that is.
I want to tell them this because they don't need more propaganda. They don't need more hate and hurt and attacks and fights. They need hope. THEY NEED HOPE RIGHT NOW! How do I know? Because my children weren't in Orlando. I have not had a gunman take out someone I love. And I am scared of what is happening. I need hope! If I need it, how much more do these hurting people need it? HOW MUCH MORE!!!!
So people, I don't know where you are on this. I don't know if you have strong political views or areas of pure anger at things that are being said or who was targeted and why you are angry. What I know is until we start laying all that junk down and love one another and believe that the only way to endure this mess of a world is in Christ alone, we are going to stay vulnerable and afraid. I don't like feeling afraid. When I turn to God, the seas calm. Man can I be like Peter in these times. I can start to look at the raging waters instead of keeping my eyes on Jesus and down I start to go. Tonight, as I soak in the names and faces of those lost, I find myself looking back at Jesus and feeling the gentle covering wash over me. I stop feeling agonizing pain on if those that died knew He loved them before they took their last breath and I start remembering that God is bigger than anything I can figure out or think through. I can't understand the senseless deaths of such a young singer and all those lives, but I can understand that somehow, someway, evil will NOT win. So tonight, I am walking in faith without sight in my "un-religious, all out there, I DON'T FEEL SAFE, GOD!" moments and I have a tingle come over me that whispers... "I got this."
I am going to leave this with the best way I know how. I watched Christina Grimmie on The Voice, because I am a huge fan of the show. She says it all right here in one of my favorite songs of all times...
I love you,
- Simple Family, Complex Journey
- Texas, United States
- Nothing really different about us... normal people, normal existence, extraordinary journey of blessings brought in the most profound, difficult, devasting, and amazing circumstances. To know our journey is to know grace. I invite you in to view this simple life where extraordinary events shape together to create something only Grace can explain.......