I’m honestly not sure where to start. I’ve had a lot of thoughts going through my head these last few days. I just know I need to write them down in some fashion.
There’s been too many lives taken lately, from senseless acts. We are a crying nation. Ready for a change.
Maybe you have a lot of thoughts going through your head, too. Maybe we’re all in a little bit of a whirlwind after what took place on Friday. Maybe we’re emotionally exhausted. Maybe we’ve given up hope on humanity. Maybe, lately, it’s been easy to do so.
I am a self-proclaimed Christian. I’ll be honest with you, when someone inexcusably walks into a school with a vengeance, like on Friday, it becomes increasingly hard to cling to my proclamation. It becomes increasingly hard to hold on to that faith that has helped me in my own life when society around me continues to fall apart. For anyone who claims becoming a Christian is a cop-out; a way to be naive and pretend all is good in the world while ignoring the bad, who claims Christianity is the weak thing to do, is the easy way out … clearly hasn’t tried to be a follower of Christ. I can say right now my life was so much easier before I became a Christian. Now, I feel I have an obligation to be a light in an extremely dark world, and that’s really hard because … my light flickers, often.
So when someone walks into an elementary school and takes the lives of 26 people, I’m stuck with asking “Why?” As are all of us.
Why, God, should I work so hard on trying to be good and do good, when no matter what I do, the world continues to shed evil?
Why, God, whether you caused this or not, would you let this happen?
Why, God, should I bother bringing children into this suffering world?
I am a follower of Christ. I love God. I believe He is only good … but it doesn’t stop me from asking why. It will never stop me from asking why. Honestly, I don’t think He wants me to stop asking why. Because asking a question makes you seek the answer … and God is the answer. Every single time. No matter how many times I turn away from Him, doubt Him, become angry at Him, which can be often, I can’t help but find my way back to Him. I have no where else to go. Nothing else satisfies. Nothing ever will.
So when evil enters an elementary school, I am enraged, sad, confused, conflicted. I need to cling to hope, however little hope I have. I need to cling to the notion that God is good and He has a plan. I need to cling to my thinning rope of trust in humanity. I need to cling to my belief that God doesn’t cause the tragedies of this world, but uses them to be glorified IN them. I need to cling because if I don’t, evil will win. We cling because if we don’t, evil will win.
Many can say, “Karen, this is all great and inspiring, but what if it was your child taken that day? A little bit harder to cling, isn’t it?” I’d reply with an overwhelming, YES. It can be easy to put matters into perspective when you’re looking from the outside in. No doubt, the question, “why” would linger much longer in my mind. God knows this. He knows me more than anyone else on this planet. He knows my personality as if it were His. I’d be extremely angry with Him. I’d turn from Him. I’d mock Him. I’d curse Him. But in my grief, however long it may take, God will wait patiently for me. He loves me. He has no choice.
We have a choice. To cling or to fall. To do good or do evil. I pray that each and every person directly connected in Newtown, CT clings. Clings to God, to each other. I pray we cling to God and to each other. I pray we cling to the belief that beauty still exists in this world, that we ARE the beauty of this world and we can make a difference. I pray we never give up hope. I pray we choose love. Love one another, love God, love ourselves, love even our enemies. Lead our future generation well. Lead with grace, forgiveness, kindness, humility. Encourage one another… Cling.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
We will overcome.
My heart is with you, Newtown. May your little children and heroic women be happily at rest, in the arms of Jesus. And may you find comfort in Him. We are all behind you. Don’t lose hope.
“Pain insists on being attended to.
God whispers to us in our pleasures,
speaks in our consciences, but
shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone
to rouse a deaf world.”
— C.S. Lewis