And that's exactly how the night went. I had the privileged of standing back and taking pictures of my three nephews--catching little smiles here and there, and sometimes full out giggles as little boys discuss whatever little boys discuss.
And then it was all over. Kids hopped up on cake, candy and a good time, we headed home. We got there just in time to crane our necks towards the sky to catch the meteor shower. Knowing not much about astronomy or what makes beautiful "shooting star-like" lights fly across the sky, I stared in awe. How neat, this place is, that we live in. How neat it is to see God's glory-- How neat it is to shiver in the cool night while craning our necks to see a shooting start.
And then Friday happened.
At any mention of the tragedy of that elementary school, I feel my breath give way. I feel myself consciously aware of the need for air and to keep breathing.
I questioned whether I would post anything about Friday, because here we are as bloggers trying to accumulate the "right" words for a situation that truly has none. Our English language does not possess words profound enough to sum up the hurt, the pain and the despair of this tragedy. I find it frustrating that I cannot find the right words to express my empathy to the levels I desire it to be known. I can't figure out how to be at peace when I know so many mamas and dads are grieving a grief more profound than many of us will ever know. And then I think about this stage of my life, on the eve of bringing a beautiful baby (I'm not pregnant yet) into this world and I have to question and wonder whether I am strong enough to allow my heart to exist outside my body.
This world is not free of evil and this world does not promise us much-- it's stinky, and messy and often ugly.
But one thing I hold tight to is hope. Hope is not something that can be taken away from you or me. Hope is ours to claim, ours to cling tight to and ours to spread. And though these days are dark and though we are mourning something far too unimaginable, we do have the ability to believe in something bigger, something truer and something far more beautiful. For me, it's hope. For me it is admitting that I don't understand, and I won't understand this tragedy, nor the ones of the past or the ones of the future. But it is also admitting that God, our greatest hope, our greatest Love does know how to heal and how to do so much more.
So as I spent my Thursday night admiring the joy of childhood and my nephews beautiful faces-- I maintain hope in the truth that this place is capable of pretty miraculous things, even amongst tragedy and despair, this place is full of hope. It is up to you and me to plant it, grow it, share it... spread it.
Since so many hearts are breaking that are directly connected to this tragedy I assure you that we are needed more than ever. I'm not sure those family members of the victims are capable of praying--capable of pleading for God's peace and understanding just yet. I believe it is our greatest and most important way to help. Pray, pray, pray.
And I have to say, though bringing a child into this world is a risk, I feel it maybe a far greater risk to not. There is no doubt this world was a better place due to those kiddos in that classroom who spent 6 & 7 years bringing joy, love and laughter to their family--not a life was wasted for they fulfilled God's desire while they graced this earth. And now they are dancing in fields of unimaginable joy.
ILY: L,C & J