Psalm 74:2a – Don’t forget that we are your beloved ones. Wrap us back into your heart again, for you chose us.
Gratitude Day 748
I can’t even. I can’t even begin to have words because my grief is wailing right now.
Yet, words are what we want. I want. Desperately need. We want someone, anyone, to help us through the senselessness of 21 people gone. People who woke up Tuesday morning, got ready for school and went someplace that felt normal and regular.
The day ended anything but normal. I think of those families who are screaming right now because they will not be able to hug a loved one today. Cheer their little one on at a ball game. High five them when they pass their spelling test. Comfort them when they have withstood another exhausting day of trying to wrangle active and busy kids in a classroom.
Could we be one of those families wailing right now?
Tuesday morning, Hubby Rick and I dropped three of our grandkids off at the school transfer station. One day each week, one of us takes these grandkids to school. Since Hubby Rick’s retirement, it is something we do together. We get 30 or 45 with these grandkids the mornings we take them to school. For me, it is one of the most special times of the week.
Yesterday, we arrived at the transfer station just in time. The buses were there, waiting to be filled up with the students going to their final school. I hopped out the car, ready to hug and wish the kids a good day. I only got to hug one of the three kids yesterday. The other two scurred away before I got a chance.
What if that would have been the last opportunity that I would have had to hug one of those three kids?
My heart can’t even.
I have debated about whether to share in this space about this topic. There has been a lot said and a lot posted already. My words will not be original or add something “new” to the conversation. Generally, I look at this space as offering positive things to ponder; ways we can connect our faith to everyday living in such a way that we are encouraged.
My friends, I have nothing wonderful or positive or encouraging to say about this and other recent horrific events. I am struggling to even find any words to say.
The words that have resonated with me the most since the school shooting at Uvalde were spoken by NBA head coach Steve Kerr. His words, and even more so his emotions, speak volumes. It’s personal for Steve because his Dad was gunned down by a militant group in Beirut in 1984.
I pray that we can allow our emotions to be as raw and real as Steve Kerr’s rather than allowing ourselves to become numb by one more horrific event.
Yesterday, I often wondered how this incident is affecting other communities.
How did teachers show up yesterday and teach students, aware that their school could be next? Did they have conversations with students about what happened?
How many school administrators will insist the schools under their guidance go through an active shooter drill this week?
Will local police departments refresh their staff about protocols if something like this will happen in their community?
Will there be any efforts to change policy here in the U.S., so we do not have to listen to more reports like there have been the last two days? Two weeks? Many, many years where shooters have purposefully intended to harm innocent people in schools, houses of worship, shopping stores and centers and other places we should consider “safe?”
How do we, as people of faith, try to wrap our heads around these awful incidences that seem to be happening more and more frequently?
I am confident that God’s heart is wailing right now as well. God is appalled by what has happened. Actually, I think God’s tears are bigger than ours are because God knows the long-term pain and suffering so many people will be facing. The Lord’s heart is sad and disappointed and howling for things to be different
So, what can we do while our hearts scream for help?
We can lament. Lament is when we open up our deepest and most raw feelings and share them with God. We are transparent in every way and let all of our emotions come spilling out. Lament is necessary because keeping emotions buried inside is not helpful. We need a way to release our hurt and pain and share it with God. God wants us to offload some of that suffering onto God rather than trying to deal with it on our own.
If you are not sure what a lament looks like or what it say, turn to the Old Testament book of Psalms. If you are struggling for words to share and say, use the words others have already shared and make available to us. Let their words be your words when you are not sure what to say. Stay with lament as long as you need to.
Will this be a watershed moment when something happens, and changes are made? I pray so. If we want something to be different, I pray we use our voices and let the appropriate people know how we feel. This can be part of our lament.
Most importantly, I pray that we feel God wrapping us back into God’s arms. Again, and again. God chooses us over and over and over. Again, and again. I pray we choose God because we need the One who can be with us on these days when words are hard.
I can’t even begin to make sense of this all. I’m not sure our job is to make sense of this. No, our job is to lament. To wail and howl. To share exactly what we think and feel and wished was different. And then, to wrap ourselves back into God’s arms.
For a God who listens to every one of my laments, I am grateful.
Holy God – When words escape us, I pray we use the words of others who struggled as our words to express how we are feeling. Be with the families who lost loved ones this week. Wrap them tightly in Your arms and hold them tight. Every. Single. Day. Amen.
If you know someone else struggling with recent events, I invite you to share this post with them.