It's just two days later. Two days after the event that should have stopped the world. She, my oldest granddaughter*, is about to sing on stage at church for the second time in her young life.
I keep remembering Thursday afternoon, how she and I practiced her song, watching other kids perform the same one via youtube videos.
Thursday night, how I woke up all through the night feeling afflicted with worry for the coming grandson. "Why? Why can't I stop worrying about the child," I asked Him in the wee, bleak hours.
Friday morning when she rearranged the nativity, leaving Jesus alone in the manger, turning away the momma and daddy and shepherd and wise men. At my inquiry, she told me that they were all watching the tv. Two hours later, I heard the news.
The news that should have stopped the world.
I have not the vocabulary to express the pain and grief I feel. I'll borrow Leonard Cohen's "it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah." Mine is a broken hallelujah.
With deep gratitude to these who can compose themselves, I share:
Advent: Prepare, Jay Kim "Our words do little good and our greatest efforts to comfort fall so far short. But we must give what we can. We must send our love and pray our prayers, from up close and afar, because this is what we have to give and to not give it would be to coalesce into the destructive powers of apathy."
Anger, grief, and love. Feelings (not thoughts!) on a tragedy, Margaret Felice "I love you, amazing, broken world, and lament that I cannot love you back into wholeness."
The Truth About Sandy Hook: Where Is God When Bad Things Happen?, Ann Voskamp "Could we sit in hushed silence, hold hands in this vigil, hang together in this suffering solidarity? What if we wordlessly groaned this prayer that Cain would stop killing Abel, that Rachel wouldn’t refuse comfort, Rachel in Ramah, weeping for her children here no more."
When Parents Have Nightmares, Lisa-Jo Baker "We are the Sunday morning, eyes still swolen from weeping people."
It's Sunday morning
and this baby is supposed to sing
and I am prickly with my old fear.
What if something happens to her?
It has required my vigilance, my obedience, my reliance on everything He is in order to push through these last two days.
His promise of the peace that is to come.
There was an interlude on the way to the church when she, out of the blue, decided that she didn't want to be on stage. At this, I had to call her momma. Her momma had to be the strength in that moment, convincing the baby that she did, in fact, want to be on stage, and convincing the meemee that everything would, in fact, be okay.
It is some deep part of me that wishes the world could stop, would stop, even if but for a moment. I want the world to look at Newtown, to see every baby's face, to hear every hero's name. If but only for a moment, I wish that every one of us could carry, would carry, the unimaginable burden of grief felt by those left behind.
But the world does not stop, cannot stop.
And so this child,
she leads me on.
*I am grateful for both of my granddaughters and my coming grandson and for all the ways that I am blessed and taught by each of them.