sometimes there are no words. yet i feel compelled to write anyway. in all lowercase. in incomplete sentences. as if somehow this lack of “correct-ness” could capture the mixed up heart, the heaviness, i awoke with and to this morning.
to the mamas and daddies and brothers and sisters and children who have lost what must feel like everything: i am so deeply sorry. on behalf of the human race. as a member of a race who has perpetrated violence upon violence, wrong after wrong upon itself, upon its brothers and sisters and children and parents. i am so sorry that we have robbed you of your innocence, of your dearest treasures, of your lives. why do we as humans turn on our own?
even when i cannot expect these fellow humans, these brothers and sisters of mine to forgive quickly, i beg of you, God, forgiveness. forgive us for being “entertained” by the news media at their precious expense. forgive us for capitalizing on their pain for ratings and increased “viewership.” forgive us for remembering the name of the killer and not bothering to learn the names of the tiny ones who died. forgive us for seeking someone to blame, for desiring a scapegoat to escape our own responsibility and guilt. forgive us for seeking easy solutions in more robust laws rather than true healing of our broken hearts where wickedness hides so easily.
and forgive me, as i continue on with life-as-normal, making a cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday, agonizing over the endless messiness of my home, the piles of boxes, the piles of laundry, the piles of dishes. heal me, for i am impatient, wanting my husband to help with the dishes, forgetting my resolve to honor him even in my thoughts, to remember that each day with him could be the last day we share.
release me from my desire to understand why, why, why, and give me more faith. let me trust You on behalf of the suffering families who maybe cannot glimpse you through the painful fog. let me practice blessing Your name now, knowing i too will suffer someday. today my heart feels broken, not quite as if my own tiny one was lost, but perhaps something close. let me always live in that broken place. i am sure their hearts will heal, but never quite all the way. don’t let me forget and bounce back too quickly when i need to be in the brokenness and mourn with those who mourn. guard my mouth from explanations. sometimes suffering has no meaning and it is not good. but You did promise to bring good out of anything. and You are good. and You are With Us in the middle of it all.
I also recommend Sarah Bessey’s beautiful, honest response to the tragedy Friday (it does contain strong language, as seems appropriate given the circumstances).
Some of my thoughts were shaped by this article widely circulated around the Internet of unknown origin (it has been falsely attributed to actor Morgan Freeman, but is insightful regardless of its author).