Monday, December 17, 2012

A Prayer as We Mourn

Friday afternoon I saw only the briefest clip of the news. A reporter outside a school, and the caption under them. That was it--about five seconds. I caught "CT school shooting" and nothing more--I had two kids waiting in the living room with a bare Christmas tree. The reality of what must have just happened hit me, but I deliberately put it aside. Focused on the decorating with only a few prayers about what must have been.

I tended my kids, our dinner, our decorating. I caught another few minutes of the news while they were playing a few hours later. And as I was putting them to bed and we were saying prayers, my tongue stumbled. Usually, we pray together for those we see on the news. We pray for hurricane victims, we pray for ill relatives, we pray for any number of normal but tragic events.

But this? I whispered a prayer silently, wondered what I should say...and made the quick decision not to burden my little ones with this. Because it's too awful, to big, too terrifying. Because they can't live if they're afraid to walk outside, if they're afraid to be in a crowd. I can't do that to them, not when they're so young. And so I insulate. Not from everything. Not from most. But from this? Yes. Yes, I will keep their sensitive ears and hearts from this. Because it's too much, and nothing they can do can keep them safe from this kind of violence.

I'll be honest. I can't process this atrocity. I can't, I just can't fathom that someone would do this. And you know, I don't think we should be able to process it. I don't think we should be able to imagine how those families feel. No one should, them included. So I will pray. I will pour out my soul to my God and know that He is big enough, strong enough, Lord enough to process what I can't. I will pray and cry and mourn and know that He weeps with us.

In church, our bishop said he had asked the Lord, "Why didn't you stop it?" And he heard God's answer whisper in his spirit. Saying, "I tried. So many times I tried."

But. But maybe the warriors refused to pause their lives and pray. Maybe someone ignored the nudge to talk to this troubled man. Maybe someone did, and the evil in the world distracted him. I don't know. I can't know.

But what I do know is this--we live in a world with evil. We always have. Each time something so terrible as this happens, we wonder what is becoming of our world. Well, I'll tell you--we haven't changed it. That's what. Since the dawn of history people have been committing atrocities. People have been slaughtering innocents. People have been murdering children. Such cruelty isn't new, not even close. It's as old as man himself. It's old and it's horrible and it's unthinkable--yet it's happened countless times.

And it won't stop until we reclaim our world. It's not about politics, it's not about gun control, it's not about medication or mental health or security protocols. It's about us. You and me and every other believer out there. It's about what we don't do. It's about the prayers we don't say. It's about the knees we don't fall to until it's too late. It's about the hearts too busy to be bothered.

Oh, Lord, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry I didn't pray. I'm so sorry I didn't have a heart open to your whisper on Friday. I'm so, so sorry I didn't ask you to send your angels. I'm sorry that now there are family with presents wrapped and ready and no precious hands to open them. I'm sorry that there is an entire town reeling from loss. I'm sorry that I don't know what to do.

Show me, Father God. Show me how to change myself, my family, my church, my town, my state, my nation. Show me how to hear you and heed you. Show me how to pray. Show me how to fight what I cannot see. Show me how to love those who need you most. Show me how to be your warrior.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for articulating what I haven't yet been able to. Praying alongside you.