December 14, 2012
Words... where are the words? How do you look at something like the school shooting in Connecticut and have the right words to express what's in my heart, the tears on the keyboard, the pain in my head?
These mass shootings never get easier. Schools, movie theaters, shopping malls, parking lots.
If you think you're numbing to them, then for a moment think of these families in Connecticut. Think of them going home tonight and seeing the Christmas trees in the living room, the already-wrapped presents under trees or squirreled away. Think of the school pictures -- the gap-tooth grins and goofy hair -- framed on the wall. Think of the toys scattered on the bedroom floors, the school artwork on the refrigerators.
That's my house. I have a kindergartener and middle schooler. I know how I hurt now and can't possibly fathom the deeper level of pain if this was their school, if it was them, if it was here. We say our hearts are with these families, our thoughts and prayers are with them -- and they are.
But I'm selfish. I am praying also for my family, my children, my community.
"Thank You, God, that it's not us. Thank You for sparing us the searing grief and suffering. Thank You for giving me at least one more day to smell my children's freshly shampooed heads, to tell them to pick the bathroom towels off the floor, to watch them wrestle with the puppy, to hear them giggle as they tease each other. Thank You, God, for blessing my wife and I with a messy house, mounds of undone laundry, scattered Legos and taped posters of teen idols and arguments about what's for dinner.
"Please, God, watch over these children of ours, all these children of all of us. We're selfish, God, and we're not ready to give our children back to You. They fill that special shape in our lives You have given us. They are all we have, and no other possession is worth having.
"Take our cars. Take our Christmas lights and tree and presents. Take the food in our kitchens. Just do not take our children, for they are everything to us."