In the darkest hour the soul is replenished and given strength to continue and endure.
December 14 arrived on a Sunday this year. I woke up and prepared for a ‘normal’ Sunday morning – teaching the Advent series at St. John’s and attending the following service. While packing my things after the class I received an email from a friend wanting to talk. On this day two years ago, the town of Sandyhook CT was shaken to its core. My friend had been there on that tragic day and with the anxiety that only post-traumatic stress can bring, she sought out comfort and support. My morning plans changed. Sharing that time with her was my act of worship on this Sabbath.
There are never enough words to fill the void of such tragedy or settle the anxious heart. She needed to talk and I needed to listen. As we ended our conversation with a prayerful goodbye, I was taken back by the thought of the families by her side today, all remembering where they stood when they heard the news – gun shots had been fired and lives changed forever. No amount of imagination can place me in the middle of that confusion and pain. I can only try to be present in prayer and compassion.
Today – two years later I hear the resolve shared in Sandy Hook – a town filled with people touched by the unspeakable and committed to work for change in this country. A country over-run with guns and anger. We hear more stories each week of tragic situations. We shop for our Christmas celebration and find decorations strange and somewhat scary. I left a store today after having seen strands of lights for Christmas tree’s and other decorations made in the shape of bullet shells. The more we hear of these tragic stories and the more we see objects of violence woven into decorations, we become more desensitized and conditioned. We risk these objects and stories becoming more of the norm. Our children become more comfortable as they re-enact stories through the games they play and the items they see in their normal walk through the mall. This will not do. Love must win.
The people of Sandyhook have chosen to move outside of their darkness and into a place of strength and endurance. They believe in the power of love and the possibility of change. After two years their commitment to work for changes in our nation’s gun laws is inspiration. It is a commitment that would serve us well to consider. May we live our lives with the phrase “love wins” etched in every breath.
(a ‘thank you’ to Roger Hutchinson for sharing the above image)