What do we do with broken hearts for people we’ve never met, families we don’t know, in places we’ve never been to? How many words have you heard since Friday about Newtown, Connecticut? What else can be said about the trauma, this tragedy? Words blanket social media, 24 hour news stations, millions of Internet sites, conversations in worship houses on Sunday.
If you are IN the trauma, the words just float around you, taking up the air. You ache, your heart feels like it will explode, the tears will not stop, your head aches, and you wander from room to room looking for the person who will never come in the front door again. I’m reminded of how each tragedy is different and unique to the family that suffers.
I know trauma; I know death of a child. But I don’t know the horror of the murder of a six year old. I don’t know the anxiety of not knowing, waiting for your child to walk out of a school building. I don’t know the pride and grief of a mother whose daughter became a hero by sheltering her kids from a gunman.
Sunday I sat in worship singing this song:
“I need You more,
more than yesterday
I need You Lord
More than words can say
I need You more
Than ever before
I need You Lord,
More than the air I breathe
More than the song I sing
More than anything
I need You more”
The song in my heart says, “WE need You more, more than yesterday, WE need You Lord.” Because we don’t understand. We can’t find the words to express the pain we feel for others’ grief.
Listen to the song here: http://youtu.be/mjhGFGQBXqQ
Today I offer a prayer. It’s all I know to do because my Father does understand; He does feel the same grief. He is the Great Comforter.
Holy Father, Healer of all broken hearts,
I lay before You the pain and anguish of a community, Newtown. I ask You to put Your arms around the families of:
Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung
Madeleine F. Hsu
Catherine V. Hubbard
Anne Marie Murphy
Allison N. Wyatt
The pictures of each child’s face beams with the joy of living and being loved. They are Your children, and their families are hurting. Each adult gave their life to serving and educating children. Their families ache with a deep loss. I pray their faith will become stronger and will hold them through these dark times.
I give thanks for those adults in Sandy Hook School who jumped into action when the children were threatened. I ask You to be with them as they relive those moments. Help them cope with the stress of such trauma. Help them in the coming days as they serve these same children. They need Your wisdom to guide those traumatized children.
The family of Nancy Lanza and Adam Lanza need You as well. They are also traumatized and surely need to find peace somehow.
The many people in Newtown who have been helping, serving, doing their jobs, giving of themselves since this tragedy began: police from all venues, ambulance personnel, fire personnel, ministers, counselors, government and school leaders. Thank You for their work. As they give and serve, provide them with support they need for their emotional needs.
You are the holy God. Without You, my life is meaningless. Glory to Jehovah Raphe. In the name of Your Son, Amen.
These words, this passage helped me.
“Good people are taken away, but no one understands. Those who do right are being taken away from evil and are given peace. Those who live as God wants find rest in death.” Isaiah 57:1, 2
I find myself torn between hearing too much news about this tragedy and wanting to know more. Writing about others grief can pull up my old pain, even though ten years old. So it is time to stop and let this ache in the pit of my stomach rest.
May we find ourselves healing as pieces of a quilt, hearts stitched together as one piece of whole cloth, comforting each other and giving each other grace as we have been given grace. There, within that quilt, I count joy.
- Joy, even though hearts are breaking.
- Joy in a State Police lieutenant who assigns each family a State Trooper to help them.
- Joy of families uniting.
- Joy in bearing one another’s burdens.