Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Waiting for It to Get Easier

I didn't want to write this post.  A lot of people with better thought out arguments or more researched opinions have already written this post. The news has shifted. Parents who held their children more tightly this weekend quickly pecked them on the cheek this morning as they fell back into the routine of packing lunches, checking backpacks for homework folders, and chastising kids for messy rooms making it impossible to find matching shoes, glasses, gloves, or scarves.

Most of us are ready to move on with our lives.

We are still sad.

We are still angry.

When we stop and think about the 26 people killed, more specifically, the 20 children killed, we can't help but be over come with emotion.

So mostly, we are ready to stop thinking about it.

And I didn't want to write this post.

But here I am.  Computer open. Typing. Maybe because the little four year old boy playing on the floor makes it impossible for me to forget that 20 families are staring at floors in their houses that are void of toys that just last week they were cursing about tripping over.

Maybe it is because I spent 13 years working in school districts, writing crisis plans, and training school administrators what to do in case of various emergency situations.  Like if a shooter enters the building.

Maybe it's because I am one of those parents who held onto my children extra tight all weekend and then gave my daughter a quick peck on the cheek as I sent her off to her third-grade class this morning.

Maybe it's because I keep hoping if I look at this in a different way, if I think of it from a different perspective, if I read enough blog posts, or see enough motivational pictures or scriptures, if I hug my children enough times, or if I just stop and mediate, it will get easier.

Easier to understand. Easier to swallow.  Easier to make sense of something so senseless.  Easier to keep believing in a God who is good and who is big enough to stop someone from walking into an elementary school and shooting 26 people, 20 children, but who did not.

It isn't getting easier.

In fact, the more I look at it, the more I think about it, the more I stare at my four year old, the harder it is to understand.  The harder it is to make sense of anything.

The harder it is to believe.

Weeks like this challenge my faith. They send me running to God screaming "Why?" and "How could you?" and "Where were you?"  "CHILDREN!"

Weeks like this leave me filled with disdain for some of my fellow man and grace and mercy for others. Weeks like this all of the sudden make me think of all of the other injustices in the world; places where children die due to lack of drinking water, genocide, AIDS. Most days I don't give any of these things a second thought.  I flip past any news stories or specials, because come on, they are depressing. And they are  oceans away and have no direct effect on my life.

But this week, when I'm questioning everything that is good in the world, I question all of these things.

And I question God.

And I wait for a voice that sounds like James Earl Jones (because that is what I assume the voice of God sounds like), but the voice never comes.

God doesn't tell me why.

But He does remind me (in a whisper, not a JEJ voice), that He doesn't have to.

Job 38:4-18 (New Living Translation)4 "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5 Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? 6 What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone 7 as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? 8 "Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb, 9 and as I clothed it with clouds and thick darkness? 10 For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. 11 I said, 'Thus far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!' 12"Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? 13 Have you ever told the daylight to spread to the ends of the earth, to bring an end to the night's wickedness? 14 For the features of the earth take shape as the light approaches, and the dawn robed in red. 15 The light disturbs the haunts of the wicked, and it stops the arm that is raised in violence. 16 "Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you walked about and explored their depths? 17 Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? 18 Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know!
I didn't really like His answer. I don't ever really like it when God reminds me that He is God and I am not. But it did remind me that even if I didn't like the answer, He was still God.  He was still in control. He is still here.

It reminded me of all the times when I was a little girl and other kids were mean to me.  My dad would come home from work and I would climb up into his lap and tell him how awful my day was.  Then, with tears in my eyes, I would tell him, "It just isn't fair daddy."

And he would wrap his arms around me and say, "No, baby, it isn't."

And that's exactly what I told God. "Someone walking into a school and shooting twenty-six people, twenty of them little children, God, it just isn't fair."

And as He wraped His arms around me, I heard Him reply, "No it isn't, Kristen. No, it isn't."


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