Monday, December 17, 2012

Sorrow is a hole in the heart, and grace rushes in to fill it.

There are many good, thoughtful pieces being written in the wake of the terror and tragedy in Newtown.

Two struck me at heart more than others.
... Until we understand that people of their own freewill coldly plotted and executed the death of the incarnate God, we can never really understand what life and death mean as we travel through this vale of tears.

And even once we do understand it, it doesn’t always help. We’re human, after all. We recoil from pain and tragedy. We demand answers. We tremble in rage at the prospect of a God who seems to have turned away from us.

Good. That’s the normal response. If your first response is, “It’s God’s will” or “This is what you get when you take God out of schools” or “God doesn’t go where he’s not wanted,” then to hell with you.

First, it’s not God’s will. Evil is the absence of God, meaning this is the opposite of His will.

But God also draws good out of evil events. Sorrow is a hole in the heart, and grace rushes in to fill it. “The world breaks everyone,” Hemingway wrote, “and afterwards, many are strong at the broken places.”
Yesterday evening, Thomas L. McDonald was supposed to teach Church history to a roomful of 14-year-olds who had questions about tragedy in our own time. He began with the heart of our history and took it to where we live today. Read all of it in The Broken Places

Coming from a very personal place, Liza Long writes I Am Adam Lanza'a Mother.
Three days before 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year-old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

"I can wear these pants," he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

"They are navy blue," I told him. "Your school's dress code says black or khaki pants only."

"They told me I could wear these," he insisted. "You're a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!"

"You can't wear whatever pants you want to," I said, my tone affable, reasonable. "And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You're grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school."

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
Be sure to read the entire piece. There are no easy answers to horrible events like that in Newtown, but surely Long's tale is one that shows where initial solutions must be provided.

1 comment:

  1. I am brokenhearted in a way I have not been in such a very long time -- the loss of my cousin, Joey. I pray for those moms and dads. Of course, their little ones are golden now, but these parents are forever broken. This is a pain I cannot begin to imagine....