My mind was full of the events of the day: From parents dropping their kids off in the morning, fully expecting to see them again that afternoon, to the terror of the moments in the classroom, to the unimaginable grief experienced by the victims’ loved ones. I don’t really want to think about these things…it feels as though my heart is being ripped in two. Yet, still, the thoughts keep coming…
There are all kinds of band-aids being applied to society’s ills right now…gun control, better social structures, more mental health care, better school security, etc. None of these supply the answer though. We are broken, and we need a Savior. Max Lucado reminded us today that our Lord was born in the dark; in a dark world that murdered hundreds of babies by the hand of Herod, a ruler, not some deeply troubled 21st c. man. Times change, but people’s hearts have not. And He knows this, yet still He suffered on our behalf. Our gentle Prince of Peace.
So today, while still reeling from the darkest blow—blows aimed at our youngest and sweetest—I have been collecting some truths I want to remember from this:
- Always part on loving terms. No lost shoes are worth a grumpy send off in the morning. No argument is worth withholding a hug and a kiss and an “I love you.”
- Forgive others. Children, especially, are forgiving, and as a parent, I need this forgiveness and need to forgive as easily as well.
- Don’t ignore hurting people. Seek to understand. Don’t put on such a perfect face that hurting people can’t confide in you.
- Fight the desire to isolate. My first thought was to take my kids out of school and never let them go. Yet even my Father let his Son go into the world.
- Hug my kids more.
- Hug everyone more.
- Make every effort to bring beauty to the world – from comforting words, a kind touch, and including the misfit to painting a picture, writing a poem, and planting flowers.
- Listen without self-interest.
- Don’t be surprised by tragedy, but pray actively against it.
- Fight against violent video games. As the research in this book shows, killing gets easier with practice, even if the practice is virtual.
- Let your face light up with joy when you reunite with your children. Each day is a gift.
- Never forget that every person needs a new, forgiven life in Jesus Christ, and no person is beyond redemption. Even killers.
Yesterday, I wanted to curl up into a ball and just cry and hope that it really didn’t just happen. Today, I need to remember to fight the darkness with light.