I have had a grief headache since Friday afternoon. The kind you get when you are not sure when would be the appropriate time to grieve children that are not your own so you don’t. You choke tears back in your office, while playing with your own children, in the shower and at church.
It’s like sorrow is stuck in my throat. I can’t quite release it. I am in shock at the tremendous terror of the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
This weekend, when I expressed my feelings to my husband he reminded me of a quote.
When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, “What can we do to promote world peace?” She answered “Go home and love your family.”
I took Mother Teresa’s advice. I loved my family in pyramids, scavenger hunts, candy deliveries to friends and story times. I stayed as far away from social media, news and radio as I could. The anger, sadness and arguments overwhelmed me and made my headaches worse.
I have struggled with commenting on the tragedy. The bereaved mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas are being hoped for in my heart.
Their incredible suffering shuts me down. It makes me quiet in mourning as if they were friends of mine. Where words fail you in troubled times, hand holding in silence still means comfort.
But I am not their friend. I am a mother hundreds of miles away watching the world try to deal with something that drenched us all in fear.
Unfortunately, many did not get quiet in mourning. They became loudspeakers of opinions. They angrily jabbed at every open wound available in an effort to be right about something. Some opinions I agreed with, others I understood and some I just thought were kind of dangerous.
Then I saw this image and I nearly screamed.
I only share it so that you can see what drove me from my quiet into a hot rage. You know the kind. The madness that makes your ears hot and all you can think about is the words you would use to tell someone off if they ever dared to share that image again.
Why did it bother me so?
Because the people sharing that image are talking about my God. The one I worship, blame, pray to, yell at, argue with, confess to, question, beseech and joke with. They are talking about my faith; the faith that encourages me to love deeply, to give generously and protect the orphans and the widows.
It bothers me because undoubtedly, the people sharing that horrid image are the same people who I might share a pew with on Sunday morning or see at family reunions and that makes me want to wretch. Are these strong words? You betcha.
When you post an image touting such a horrid message you are saying three things about your faith and the world around you.
If you are not a Christian, much of this will not mean anything to you. You’re welcome to read on or see your way clear. Your call. :)
Your Salvation Story is a Farce
Do you remember how Jesus died on the cross for our sins? Do you remember how you have been telling the world that through grace you have been set free from all of your sins: past, present and future?
Well, you lied.
Apparently, our God is still looking for sacrificial lambs. He is still calling Abraham to the top of the mountain to sacrifice Isaac. Worse yet, he called 20 children to be the sacrifice in His protest against the separation of church and state?
Your God decided to kill children and their protectors because he disagreed with our man-made laws. Can you worship a God like that? If so, we have bigger problems here and you may need to consult a medical professional.
I am being serious. Call them now.
God is Not Omnipresent
Apparently, a simple law created by man can keep your ever powerful God from entering a building. The same God you believe masterminds miracles, the universe and daily creation has been reduced to a pedestrian unable to cross where there is not a cross walk. What happened to your God-is-bigger-than-any-problem-talk? Do you believe that he will never leave us or not?
I ask Him to be with my children daily and I believe He remains with them everywhere they go. I pray daily that no matter where they go or what happens to them, that they know they are loved unconditionally.
The world may take them to some dark places and I want them to always know that above all, they are loved. It is what I needed to know when I was suffering. I put a survival of the fittest tool belt around their waist and send them out into the world.
Blame the Victims
The age-old default reaction to all things horrendously tragic is being used here again by people of my own faith.
What you are really saying – and many don’t realize this – is that victims are somehow at fault. They should have fought harder for the laws that would have allowed God into their schools. Those parents should have been sending their children to a Christian school.
You have reinforced to children like me, children who have survived abuse, violence and trauma, that they are somehow to blame and deserve to be sacrificed. It is the words creeping in-between the lines and we can read them.
I understand we all want to find reason in times of uncertainty. We all want to know why things like this occur.
I do know this. The God I serve would never abandon and sacrifice children to show his disapproval of a law. That is the behavior of men and women. If I believed for one second that the God I served approved mass murders of children, I would be an atheist immediately.
I would be an atheist so fast, it would make your head spin. Trust me.
Christians, we have to do better. I fear that we are becoming the evil that the world needs to be delivered from.