Like most people in this country, I was sickened by the events of last Friday. And that rock in the pit of the stomach feeling woke me up early on Saturday morning. When that happens to me, I tend to write. Some people go run or listen to music or read a book, but I usually start fighting with a whirlwind of words that are struggling to come out of my head with some semblance of order. The following column for the Tri-County Times newspaper is the result of that early morning whirlwind of words. You can click the link here to read it from the online newspaper or just keep scrolling and read my blog.
Lamentations 2:19 (NKJ) Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the life of your young children.
Owen was the first one out of the building. The lump in my throat grew as he strolled past the school buses with that little inherited spring in his step he doesn’t even realize exists.
I glanced at Hollie waiting in the car next to mine. Was she feeling the same way I was? Was the lump in her throat so big she didn’t know if her voice could even escape past it to greet her son? Did she want to hop out of her vehicle and run to him and cup his little face in her hands and then hug him so close she could feel his heartbeat?
Of course she did. Didn’t we all? Didn’t we cry for the babies who were taken and cling to our own who were still with us? And didn’t we savor the moments with them as we tucked them into bed? Didn’t we read an extra story, rub their backs a little longer and linger over them as we kissed their foreheads taking in the scent of freshly washed hair?
And once they were fast asleep didn’t we kneel by their beds and watch their little chests move slowly up and down? Didn’t we thank God in heaven that our babies were sleeping peacefully even as our tummies ached and our hearts hurt for the moms and dads who were crying over empty beds?
Of course we did. We did because we know the weight and the depth of loving a child who is our very own. We are strong and we can cope with much loss in this life, but losing our babies? We don’t know if we could live through it. And we are deflated. And we are angry. And we are sick. And we are helpless to bring relief to those who are living through the unfathomable. And somehow in the midst of this our broken hearts are filled to overflowing for our little ones who are still here. And we don’t even think it possible to love them more than we do today. But may the evidence in our lives of this unspeakable act be that our love for our children has grown deeper still.
There is a CNN page with a list of the victims here. I know you all have been praying for them. I looked through the list and found a little boy whose last name is Lewis. I’ve decided to pray specifically for his family. Maybe you see your child’s name on the list and want to pray for that family specifically too.