Lamentations

I’ve barely slept this past week. At first, it was because I was sleeping with my son to help him through his pneumonia-induced coughing spells. For the last two nights, I have been so heavy with grief for the families in Newtown that I have not found rest. There is a verse in Romans that says, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” This is a grief that words cannot express, but ironically, I find comfort in writing. So, although this is a wine blog, it is also about my life as a mom. And today, that is about the only thing that seems to matter.

When I came home on Friday, the first things I saw were my daughter’s drawings on the refrigerator. So many families will come home to similar pictures, knowing they will be the last. Before Friday’s tragedy, I found myself frustrated at being awakened yet again. After, I cherished a few extra minutes to hold my sleeping children.

There is understandably more talk about gun-control*.   How I wish that the answer were that simple.  No amount of legislation, gun-control, or metal detectors will stop a broken soul from inflicting horror on others if they are set on doing so.  The only prevention can be to get to that soul before it is too late. This is a generation in which too many have been overexposed to violence on television and video games. They have been under-exposed to loving boundaries and consequences. They are angry and fearful. They are vulnerable and hardened. The mental health problems are multipying; parents are exhausted with nowhere to turn.  This cannot be sustained.

People are looking for reasons, for answers. There are no answers. We retreat from the media or we become obsessed with the coverage. There is no comfort there. We hold our children closer and reevaluate priorities. Oh, that this would continue. Please, talk to your children and their friends. Speak up when you see something. Fight the toxicity we put in our bodies and our brains. Love your children and those in your path. And Pray.

As a mother and a former Elementary teacher, I can imagine all too vividly the horror. Although I was not directly impacted, I have friends that were. Comfort and solace are nearly impossible to come by in a tragedy of this magnitude. There is another verse I have chosen to focus on. In Mark, we are told of people bringing their children to Jesus to be touched. He says, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” The verse following tells us that “he took them in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” I choose to, I need to, believe that he shielded their minds in this. That he was there to welcome them into his arms. `

May God be near. May he provide a peace that passes understanding. May he restore what is broken and bring beauty from the ashes.

*see comments

6 responses

  1. Very strong words… You are absolutely right – gun control is not an answer. Being able to reach out to that soul is – but this is also so hard…

    As we are all searching for answers, I came across this blog post, which might be actually hitting the target pretty close: http://anarchistsoccermom.blogspot.com/2012/12/thinking-unthinkable.html It might be answering some questions, but also raising a lot more, and the main question is “why is this happening”…

    Very sad…

  2. I disagree wholeheartedly–it starts and ends with gun control. Look at any thing that we have tried to eradicate: smoking, racism, cancer. Are they gone? No, but they have been reduced and diminished through legislation, taxation, and education. There are 90 guns for every 100 people in this country. You reduce the number of guns, you reduce the number of shootings. It is simple math. Will that stop all the violence? Certainly not, but continuing to turn a blind eye to the real problem here only makes it worse. Should we try and reach those people who might commit such horrific acts? Unequivocally, but it is not a zero sum game. I have little doubt that if there were not guns in that house there would be 20 more first graders in Connecticut today.

    • *I totally agree that there needs to be tougher laws on guns. I was not trying to debate gun-control, just writing my heart’s reaction to this. I absolutely agree there needs to be more scrutiny of which and to whom guns are sold. I just believe that the “laws” in and of themselves will not stop the problem. As you said, it is not a “zero-sum” game. There are so many layers to this tragedy. I could write 500 pages and not adequately address all the issues here. Guns, mental health, security, healing, etc. I hope that we can all learn through this and do something, anything to help prevent something like this in the future.

      • Sorry, I should have started by saying that I really enjoyed your piece both for it’s heartfelt sincerity and for you willingness to broach the subject. We need more discussion about finding ways to prevent this from happening. I think we all realize that there is not a singular act that will ‘solve’ the problem but if we continue to refuse to address it at all (which seems like what we have been doing), then nothing will change. So thank you for addressing it here, hopefully we will be able to sustain the dialogue and eventually act.

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