Deliver Us From Evil

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.

Sincerely,

Tashmica

9 thoughts on “Deliver Us From Evil

  1. I commend your voice here. I wish I had responded half as well as you. Sometimes calm, heartfelt thoughts sprinkled with humor and love are far more helpful than abusive ad hominem back-and- forths, or even sound arguments. This is one important issue, among many that we have a responsibility to discuss. I take instruction from your approach here. These memes that travel facebook at the speed of light reinforce some very problematic ideologies. I think I’ll try to be more conservative with guns rights arguments and memes on mental illness, particularly on facebook. <3

  2. Dear Tashmica, I will be the first to say that I believe you have always used your blog for the good of others…. You made great way with your blog “Bullies are stupid and I love the way you walk”. I still appreciate your writing.
    I read most of your blogs, and I can honestly say we think quite alike! We parent quite the same and I believe we both do a great job at tolerating THE TOROKS! (Just a light hearted joke)
    Light hearted is my usual motto!
    As I read your resent blog “deliver us from evil”, I read all the way through the blog, never stopped to look at the picture that “made you want to scream”. I agreed with your words all the way through. Once I looked back at the picture I was a little taken back to say the least!
    Personally, I saw that picture long ago and saved it in my photo stream. If you look back and were to see my post ON FACEBOOK, a place to leave thoughts and light hearted messages, not a blog where you can completely express how you feel, you will see I posted that picture on my Facebook! It sat under my comment relating to how devastating Fridays events were. Followed by how a mother could find herself thankful for a child with a degenerative disease. The devastation that occurred Friday I assumed left parents asking many questions… Why? How? Will life ever be the same?
    Over the past few months I have decided the best way for ME to deal with my children’s situation was to be thankful for TIME! Time to prepare, time to forgive OUR God that I was so angry with for placing the devastation of FA on our family. We have the gift of time to be thankful for each day…. Regardless of the progression!
    Like I said, while reading your blog I agreed 100%, but was saddened when I saw the picture that you said made you want to scream.
    To me… It’s a light hearted statement. Something I can see OUR CHILDREN thinking and wondering. If my child came to me or my child came to you I believe we would both explain to our children that God was with all of the children as He helped them find their way to heaven. As well as explaining how God still is watching over our children and keeping them safe!
    SO, if you feel that picture wanted to make you want to scream, could it be that maybe it was just bad timing for the picture?
    No worries, I still love you my sister! But… A picture that you took SO SERIOUSLY was TO ME a light hearted picture of what some children may have been thinking, with a little jab at “keeping school and religion separate!”
    We all mourn the loss of innocent children in our own way. It did make me hug my 4 babies tighter that night. Also it made me thank God in a weird kind of way for my kids disease.
    The way one mourns and posts it on Facebook, I would hope you could look past it and see it as a light hearted coping mechanism for someone else! Not as someone questioning the God we both believe in.
    I’m at a loss…. I can only explain the way I interpreted the picture, it never made ME question the God that protects my family and delivers us from evil.
    Still sisters??? I love you, this was just my thought! Gin

    1. Yes, always sisters but that image was not light hearted to me. It was more cold hearted for all of the reasons I posted. Partially because of the statement and all that it implied along with the terrible timing of those sharing it. I don’t think my children were asking this question. My son told me that he didn’t want to die. I told him exactly what I said in this blog. God will always be with him, I love him and I added that his teachers will always protect him to the best of their ability. I think this image had a purely adult connotation and an innapropriate one, for sure.

      I love you but we are gonna have to disagree on this one even if we are all but identical. :)

      1. I have to say first, I will let this go, I will let go of the anger/hurt I feel honestly directed toward me. Second, a couple others have commented on your blog agreeing with you 100%, THEY and you disagree with the picture/shirt… I get that. But I have to say, it is quite a generalization to state that posting that picture is a direct reflection on how one trusts, believes, worships, thanks, prays and communicates with our God.
        I posted that picture, regardless of my thought process or my intention… How that picture made YOU feel can not be deemed how others were expressing it.
        I agree, we disagree! But I have to say my feelings were hurt, I took it personally. I believe you wrote a blog with an assumption that you KNOW what I believe, from the way YOU interpreted a photo.
        You say it was not directed toward me, for the sake of others who DID post the picture and DON’T feel or believe what you assume they do, just know that was YOUR interpretation of the photo. Not to be mistaken for what others believe!
        Still sisters…. Gin

        1. The worst part of your comment for me is that you still don’t believe me when I say this post was not about you or anyone else who posted this image sometime in the past. I told you in person that this image was posted the day after 20 children were gunned down by other family members of mine. I found that to be cruel, insensitive and mean. I don’t agree with the image anyway BUT like you said earlier, the timing was terribly thoughtless.
          In regards to the assumptions on the faith of others. I am not making assumptions on the faith of others. I am pointing out theological inconsistencies in the image’s message. By posting such an image, you are linked to those inconsistencies.
          I am sure I am not innocent. Clearly, I post things others may find offensive (see: blog above) but I guess, just like you I have to be okay with the message. I am okay with what I said here.
          If a person posted this image as a comment on the mass murder, it was not clever, it was thoughtless and inconsistent with what our faith teaches. Of course. IMHO ;)

  3. While I didn’t see the FB posting referred to, I did hear Mike Huckabee’s statement and had a share a post from Victoria Jackson stating similiar insanity, so to your blog, I say “Amen!” i wish I could espressed these ideas so clearly.

  4. Yep, that picture/shirt is a bunch of crap. I don’t care what or who or if you believe in something greater than yourself…what you CAN choose to believe in is humanity. I’m very frustrated by the amount of folks posting a list of great things that other people did to make the world a better place. What are YOU doing? Be that light! Make those day to day choices to do the right thing, to generate good, to be kind and compassionate…illuminate the possibilities. Shine your light into the world. Life is all in the details. It is in loving your family, your neighbor, strangers halfway across the country. That’s where the importance is. Love. Shine it out. The conversations about gun restrictions (dear lord who needs to OWN an assault rifle?!) and mental health need to happen…but within the greater context of caring for each other and building one another up.

  5. Amen. Thank you for writing this, Tashmica. Between your blog post and this one you led me to (http://johnpavlovitz.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/mike-huckabee-james-dobson-and-a-pastors-apology/?year=2012&monthnum=12&day=18&like=1&_wpnonce=d789f9db61&wpl_rand=ba023b56ec) I feel like there are sane voices speaking up. I have never understood people who think God chooses sides. God does not “will” someone’s favorite team to win a game anymore than he chooses a side in the realm of man-made laws. That reasoning makes zero sense. Thank you for saying that so eloquently.

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