I’ve been thinking about the sadness of the incredible loss in Newtown, Connecticut… And, I recognize that most of us cannot even begin to understand the depth of grief that is being felt by this loving community. We are shocked, saddened, maddened…and we are speechless.
Which is why it is even hard to write this post. No words can express our broken hearts. Mostly we want to remain silent, or sit down and feel the sadness and let our tears flow.
The Christmas story has a part in it that we usually keep hidden. It is when Herod was determined to kill this baby Jesus who would be king, and so, in an effort to rid the world of him, he killed all the baby boys in and around Bethlehem who were 2 years old and younger. This, too, is part of the story…there is grief, and horror, that sit alongside the miracle of Jesus’ birth. And we forget to hear the mamas and the papas cries, as they did in the days of old, when it was said,
“A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and much grieving. Rachel weeping for her children, and she did not want to be comforted, because they were no more.” Matthew 2:18
In this story, many children were lost, and the women wept and received no comfort. And perhaps that is what we are feeling today. Where is the comfort, O God?
Or maybe we are silently grateful that our child is alive. We hug tightly, love deeply, and encounter joy knowing that ours is still alive. But that feeling does not come alone. It comes with guilt, and sadness for the loss of other children. Joy and pain. They sometimes go hand in hand. And the question is How do we comfort each other?
For now, we accept weeping as our communal offering to God. We understand the dawn and the light will break through the darkness, but while we live in darkness, weeping is our common response.
And there’s one more common response…the response of a deeper understanding of love. When we see who we lost, or who we could lose, then we love who we have even more. Love rises to the top with incredible strength.
So may that Love guide us through this dark moment. And may we respond today with great acts of love. And may we be comforted in each other’s arms.
In faith, hope, & love,