Yesterday, we went to Silver Dollar City and experienced Christmas magic. Today I am baking again - it's Christmas time, and that's what I do. There are teacher gifts to be assembled. I also spent much longer than I would have wanted to tracking down medication for Bella's pink eye (we think that's what it is). Then I got short with the people at the pharmacy and felt compelled to apologize when I went back to finally pick up the eye drops. I got to hold Bella down as she screamed, cried, pinched and bit. It required a lot of cuddling to stop her body shaking with sobs over the horror of eye drops. This is in our future three times a day.
I note all of this to say that I have been trying not to immerse myself in the sadness that is the Sandy Hook tragedy. I have not watched news coverage- I couldn't bring myself to. I have not read any actual news articles about it since Friday.
But, it is unavoidable to some extent. I do read blogs - many of which have responded in different ways. The flags are at half-staff. And almost every other post in my news feed on Facebook could bring me to tears if I let it. Tragedies like this feel pervasive, and for the most part, I understand and am thankful that many of us get to grieve together and air our collective shock and dismay.
As for conclusions - here are the only realities that I can embrace in times like this. This world is not my home and not what I was made for. It is a broken and fallen place with terrible experiences for people that surround me whether I choose to see them or not. No place is ever safe, and God never promised us safety. He does promise to be with us through it all, no matter what. He never leaves us or forsakes us.
I can pray for those families affected by this - the grieving fathers and mothers. I can pray for God's peace and strength to find them in the miraculous way that is often only possible through heart-breaking grief.
And, I can rejoice in the truth of a Savior that become human. He wanted to know and experience the fullness of mankind, in all of ugliness, so that he could save us and bring us into the fullness of himself and all of his glory. What a truly beautiful and amazing reality. What great hope we have in him. What joy. What peace. Thank you, Lord Jesus.