When I find myself in the midst of uncertainty, confusion, fear, it always helps me to write. To get this swirling, spiraling, snowballing mess out of my mind and onto a page. Something I can hold and see, words that are the same every time I read them. There is comfort in returning to something that will always be the same, when so much of life is constantly in flux. I don't know what will end up on this page, but I know I need to see these words in front of me.
This weekend, my heart and my spirit were wrecked. When I close my eyes, I see the sweet, pure smiling faces of those kids, the passion and love the teachers had for them. I see the terror and shock of their parents, friends and siblings. I want to be in their homes and hold these families and rock in the dampness of our tears together. I can't turn off the news because I want to feel their sorrow and heartache, so they know they aren't alone. I don't want to turn the other way. I don't want to pretend it didn't happen, because it did.
I came across this post the other day, and it was such a great reminder of God's unchanging love for his children. There is such peace in knowing that God is still good, God is still great, even in the midst of such evil and brokenness. Just like words on a page, He is the same.
(Warning: the following is a look into my constant wrestling match with God's being...) But there is part of me that is still confused. If God is sovereign and in control...why didn't He step in on Friday? In His "perfect timing," why didn't He intervene and save the 20 children and 6 women who had so much left to give this world? Even if He did give us free will, and even if we do choose to turn away from Him at times, why didn't He protect the innocent that morning?
I guess I could ask the same thing about His own Son... he could have intervened and saved Jesus from the cross, a punishment for a crime he didn't commit...but then where would we be? The stone would still be blocking His tomb. There would be no victory over death. We would have no hope of Heaven. But writing that doesn't take away the sorrow of knowing that these families are grieving so heavily, though. It makes me wish that God's nature wasn't so mysterious. That His ways and timing made more sense. That the innocent didn't pay for the sin of the wicked...
I don't think we're supposed to understand. There is no making sense of this. What we are supposed to do is be God's hands, and ears,and mouth and shoulders. We're supposed to invite Him into this pain and feel it with us, because He does, and He will.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite Christmas songs, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." I love the last verse...
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
"God is not dead, nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, goodwill to men."