My primary source of news consumption is via NPR. On Friday, I wasn’t around my computer or radio to realize what had happened until the evening. Friday evening was very busy at home, and I worked very early Saturday. The gravity of what had happened didn’t really hit me until Saturday evening.
J and I where making some Christmas ornaments and listening to holiday music on the radio. The song The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli came on, and I felt very heavy. Then that evening, I watched my favorite show, SNL. If you don’t watch or haven’t heard how they honored the children, they opened not in humor or profound words, but with a simple and highly appropriate holiday song.
I cried for the first time since the news broke.
The next day, I went to church. Our pastor tactfully yet powerfully addressed the tragedy. She talked about our cultures excessive consumption of violence in it’s many forms; graphic and inappropriate 24/7 news coverage, violent movies, violent video games and even extreme veneration of the military (yes, I proudly attend a progressive Christian church). But she had me on the edge of tears when she announced each act of violence and the media’s reporting of it. After each incident was described, she followed by saying “It was wrong. It was not ok.” Such simple words, but filled with such truth. She ended the service by praying for each of the victims by name, bringing me to full tears.
The past 3 days I keep circling back to the song The Prayer. The song has been very nurturing, and the lyrics are very appropriate for the moment.
Because I am a believer, I am fully confident that every single one of those innocent children are at the feet of Jesus Christ. They are well, they are safe, they are loved more fully than we can ever imagine.
I pray that their parents be given divine peace that transcends all understanding.
For the rest of us, I pray that we all find our safe place. Whether that is in our belief of God or by some other means. I say safe place not in the sense of physically safe. There will always be things in this world that are out of our control and we’ll never know when our time is up. Find a safe place in yourself that will free you from anxiety, fear, pain, anger. That is the safe place that will help you cope with not only this tragedy, but all of the toxicity this world will throw at us.
Find a safe place that can’t be taken away by any act of violence.
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we’ll be safe