I keep a spiral bound notebook of 3×5 cards in my purse. I jot down quotes, thoughts, verses, and truths to cling to when my mind is drowning in fears and worry. When I feel myself slipping on the mental rocks, I pull out my cards and read them.
Friday, I read through the stack. This one made me stop.
When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Lamentations 3:28-29 MSG
I didn’t realize that as I was reading those verses that sweet, innocent children’s lives were being snuffed out by senseless, merciless violence.
Children sitting in classrooms eager to learn. Children the same age as mine.
My tears joined a flood across the country as we wrestled with the horror. I read the reports and a gutteral cry came from my gut, “Please, God, no. Oh God, no.”
And that was all I had. Emotion too deep to verbalize.
The national conversations turned to gun control and mental health care and how we’ve deleted God’s name off our school rosters which must mean that He is absent.
And then I came back to Lamentations 3, written by an author who knows something about indescribable pain. An author who wrote during a time when “Carnage was rampant. Cannibalism and sacrilege were twin horrors stalking the streets of destroyed Jerusalem. The desperate slaying of innocent children showed a complete loss of respect for human worth…” (NIV study Bible).
And so I sat silent.
I bow in prayer.
For the community of Newtown. For the families grappling with unspeakable grief. For my children. For their own hearts. For the country they will inherit. For their teachers and our community.
And I wait for hope to appear.