Keener minds than mine are currently formulating all sorts of philosophies and theories, figuring out the implications of today’s events, and determining how to move forward. I feel underqualified, yet compelled, to add my voice to all of the chatter, the wailing, the hushed and woeful wondering that is happening across our country tonight . I suppose my qualifications are that I am a human, I am a mother, and I am a Christian.
As a human, I feel tonight the weight of the evil that resides in the heart of each one of us. It’s difficult for us to identify with the kind of wickedness that would lead someone to enter a school and ruthlessly murder sweet and precocious and shy and unruly and funny and tender children. It seems impossible that our own hearts bear the marks of that kind of hate for God and humanity. Yet, the Bible tells us that “every inclination of the human heart is evil.” (Genesis 8:21) I am just as desperate for salvation from my own sinful nature and desires as one who commits all kinds of atrocities that I consider unforgiveable. Any good at all that may exist within me is only God, who, in His great mercy, infiltrated the pitch black corners of my heart with his light of love and truth. If not for His incredible, undeserved grace, I would be just as hell-bound as the most horrific criminals that have existed on this earth. When I am reminded, like I was today, of just how deep the wickedness in our hearts runs, I wonder why God chooses to deal with us at all. And I wonder why He chose to rescue me from my sin. These are the mysteries of life and faith, made even more mysterious on a day like this. But, I was jolted into remembering the urgency with which we need to share Christ’s love. Evil hearts can be made new.
As a mother, I am broken. I am clueless. I am wondering tonight how devastated parents are still drawing breath moment by moment. I am prayerful. But, the prayers that I try to pray seem insufficient. I really don’t know how to pray for these families. I am trusting that the Holy Spirit is interceding on their behalf. I know that they must not have words either. They must barely be sitting where they are sitting. Their hearts must barely be beating. Their memories must be searing and hot, like their tears. They must be thinking of what this morning was like before school. They must be wondering if they loved enough, if they smiled today, if the rush kept them from saying what was in their hearts. They must feel dead. They must feel alone in their sorrow, even though they share it with so many others. And then there is God. He is there. He sees. He hears the cries of their broken hearts. He is working. That I am sure of.
As a Christian, I can’t stop the questions from surfacing. Why did this have to happen? Why children? Why today? What is the purpose? What do we say? How do we respond to a world demanding answers from a God it doesn’t even believe in? The answers are hard. They speak to the sovereignty of God. They remind us that this, yes, even this, will bring Him glory. The how is impossible for us to know. But, there is comfort in knowing that the little children who went to live with Jesus today already know. They are experiencing His glory in all its fullness.
As we move on, debates will ensue. Arguments will continue over guns and school safety measures. Political parties will try to use this tragedy to bolster their positions. And more questions will surface. More horrors will be revealed. And more heartache is coming. The only hope for this confusing, chaotic, dangerous, wicked, angry, selfish world is Jesus Christ. May He heal. May He reveal Himself. May He be glorified.