ON HEARTACHE AND HOPE

Earlier this week, my heart ached as I talked to my oldest about Syria after she saw photos of refugees; it hurt when I saw her four-year-old mind working hard to comprehend as she asked, “People are hurting other people for no reason, mom? Like when people hurt Jesus?”

Today my heart hurts for Oregon. It hurts for every school shooting leading up to this, marking roughly one school shooting a week since Sandy Hook. My heart hurts for every mass killing, for every single homicide, for every act of senseless violence, cold-blooded injustice, and act of hatred, reported or not.

Because, you guys? These lives lost? They are someone’s babies. Somebody rocked them to sleep at night, taught them to tie their shoes, held their hand as they walked into church. Someone was immensely proud of them for graduating from high school and going to college to better themselves. Someone wanted better for them and was willing to fight tooth and nail, to risk everything, to see that they had a shot at it.

They are someone's parents. Their mother. Their father. They were depended on, relied upon, for dinner and bedtime stories, for comfort and stability.

They are someone's husband. Someone's wife. Someone's best friend, someone's future, someone's past. I use 'are' because losing them does not erase them- their relationship, their impact.

These lives lost- today, last week, last month- are more than part of a total death count. They are precious and personal. They mattered. They still matter.

Is there evil in the world? Yes. Absolutely. It's not going away anytime soon. It makes my head spin. It makes my heart ache. There are days I think, underneath it all, I might just live in a state of constant heartache. There are days I think I want to gather my babies together like a mother hen and shelter them from every possible threat.

What I want more, though, so much more, is for them to not live in fear. I don't want to send them out in the world, whether to preschool or college, to a movie or church, paralyzed by all of the what-ifs and whens and now-whats.

I can't do that.

I won't.

So I teach them faith. I talk to them about the injustice in the world and then I teach them that there is goodness and there is hope. If you look for it, you can find it. If you can't find it, you can be it. Even as young as they are, we have these talks. They probably think their mom is crazy, but it is never to early to teach them what's important.

We are not guaranteed much in life. The time we have right now is what counts, and it can count for so much if we use it intentionally.

Hug your babies. Teach them to do good. Do good yourself.

Do something kind for someone else in the next five minutes, maybe the next hour.

Do something kind for another person tomorrow, and someone else the day after that.

Do it to honor those who no longer can and for those who would do anything to have them back.

Your life matters. You can make a difference. You will not single-handedly defeat evil, but you can demonstrate goodness. You can reflect hope.

We need more hope.

Image via tumblr

No comments:

Post a Comment