Sunday, December 16, 2012

Darkness and Light

There are so many hundreds of thousands of words that have been posted already about the tragedy in Connecticut. A part of me doesn’t want to add to the words. But the rest of me has no choice. Writing is how I work through my thoughts and feelings. It’s how I process things that have happened. It’s something I have to do.

I have no answers. I won’t pretend I do. Anyone who claims to have answers is lying to themselves. There is no explanation for the hows and whys of such horror. Or, perhaps, there are too many explanations. Perhaps it is all so convoluted and complicated that there is really no way to pin down a simple, black and white explanation.

No, I don’t have answers. But I sure do have questions, and a whole bunch of fears. I have been brought to my knees sobbing, I have held my three precious children closely and thanked God for them, I have had uncontrollable thoughts of how unfathomably horrific it would be to be in the shoes of one of those families.

It’s my worst fear, losing one of my children. It’s a fear that has kept me awake at night many times, a fear that springs to the forefront of my mind every single time I read of a tragedy involving a child– horrible accidents, fatal illnesses, physical and sexual abuse, murder.

I am reminded that even though I love my children more than anyone or anything in this world, and even though I would do everything in my power to keep them safe… there are so very many things that are NOT within my power… so many things I cannot control. The fact is, a tragedy could happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

I can never guarantee that my children will be safe from harm.

None of us can.

And that is terrifying.

This is true every single day, but I’d say most of us don’t think about it every day. And then we are reminded so suddenly, and it’s overwhelming. It’s an unbearable truth that we must grapple with.

This life is not permanent. This life is nowhere near as safe as we’d like to imagine it is. There is so much evil and hatred and pain and death in this world. So much darkness.

And yet, somehow, there is also so much goodness and love. So much light.

I am equal parts desperate and hopeful. A part of me wishes it all would end, because I look around at this world and I see so much misery and pain. Another part of me holds on to hope that maybe, somehow, the love and goodness may outweigh the evil and hatred.

All I know to do is to continue to plant seeds of love, hope, peace, gentleness, kindness, patience, understanding, and compassion… even when it feels futile… even when I feel desperate and angry and fearful… even when my faith falters in the face of tragedy.

There is no other good and reasonable choice that I can see.

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