The news sears its images into my head and slices my heart into tiny little pieces. Twenty six of them to be exact. The concrete steps that led them towards Light are now darkened by the shadow of death. As a hallelujah chorus began to ring out, the sound of gunfire drowned it out, bullets spraying over a congregation that would exchange their celebration song for cries of mercy.
Lying mangled on the floor are lives and hope extinguished.
And we rush to make sense of it all. To tidy it up and put a label on it so that we can process it and move on. We’re always so ready to move on.
But I think what we really need is to just sit with things for a while. With people. With heartache. With disappointment. Let it linger for a moment longer, the discomfort of not being able to make sense of it all. There is something holy that takes place when realize that we don’t have all the answers. It’s an acknowledgment on our part that we submit to a God who does. In a world where we pursue and seek comfort at all costs, we sometimes bypass the benefits that come from being a little uncomfortable.
Questions and doubts, unimaginable pain and loss, they point us towards Him.
I don’t understand. And I am mad, terrified and sick to my stomach, all at the same time. I don’t have all the answers. As I talk to my children about it, I wish I could explain it all away. That I could process it all with one simple conversation and then just move on with my day. But I can’t. And honestly, I don’t even think I should.
My kids need to see that I don’t have all the answers. That there will be times when I am left with nothing other than, “We still have hope, He is our Hope.” I want them to see me linger over important things. These are the moments in life when we show our kids exactly where our hope comes from. It doesn’t come from our own wisdom. And it doesn’t disappear in the face of adversity or even sheer evil. Our hope IS IN God.
And although there are times, like the events that unfolded in a small town church in Texas yesterday, where it looks like all hope is lost, like it’s crumpled up in a heap on the floor, with God – it never is. Because our hope was there inside the church before the gunman entered, He was there in the midst of the chaos and in the horror of the aftermath. He was there as people took their last breath before coming face to face with Him. Our hope was with the victims and He is with us too.
He is our ONLY Hope.