I ignored the school shooting news on Friday. That was something I couldn't listen to while my kids were still at school. I eventually gave in on Saturday and cried with the rest of the nation for those children, their parents, their friends, the teachers who acted so heroically. I watched as their faces were displayed and names were read, and they looked just like Ben and the kids in his class. I thought of the mothers, and the anguish they must feel that they couldn't have been with their child when their children must have been so scared. I thought of the Christmas presents they had so carefully picked out, and the hole they will have in their hearts for the rest of their lives. I ache for those mothers. But, it is with a tight throat and slightly swollen face, I say there is hope.
I've been reading Max Lucado's No Wonder They Call Him Savior and the chapter I opened to on Saturday spoke directly to my thoughts that day. I wish I could post the whole chapter, but that would be really long so what spoke to me most.... "Choosing not to be neatly categorized, life has opted to be a tossed salad of tragedies and triumphs, profanity and purity, despair and hope. The bad is perplexingly close to the good. The just is frighteningly near to the unfair. And life? Life is always a clock's tick away from death....God is not stumped by an evil world. He doesn't gasp in amazement at the depth of our faith or the depth of our failures. We can't surprise God with our cruelties. He knows the condition of the world...and loves it just the same. For just when we find a place where God would never be (like on the cross), we look again and there he is, in the flesh."
So this Christmas I'm remembering that God sent His Son to be here with us (with us!!), Emmanuel. He felt the ache we feel. He understands. I can give my burdens to Him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Or the Message version...
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
***Also this is pretty cool.