This has been a bad week. A tragic week. Historically, too, this has been a tragic week. The assassination of President Lincoln, the sinking of the Titanic, the Oklahoma City bombing and Columbine. All happened this week. Now the West, Texas factory explosion and the terrifying events in Boston make it a sad and scary time.
Having young children makes this also a week of dichotomies. On the one hand, you want to keep an eye on the events unfolding. On the other hand you want to shield your children from the questions, the pain and the innocence-robbing insanity.
You want to save them from watching the explosions-accidental and intentional. The constant barrage of images that evoke tears and questions you can’t always answer.
You want to show them, too, that America is a nation that comes together to bring fugitives to justice, to serve and protect, to donate blood and open homes. It is important to explain to the kids how we should behave in those moments of barest humanity.
On this week of tragedies, past and present, we still have reasons to celebrate. Celebrate life, family and community. Reasons to celebrate God. I tend to go out into nature, to my garden to cope with the stress. I look at the beauty God has created and the amazing ways He has designed it all to work.
We released ladybugs today and they immediately began foraging for food, devouring the gnats that were sheltering under the romaine leaves. They came out of their mesh bag, their captivity that was all they had known, and instantly went to work.
I took the kids out there to divert them from the TV crawl. They were able to release these beautiful creatures and learn about why we need them. They were able to look closely at a beautiful caterpillar on the parsley that will soon become an even more beautiful butterfly. They were able to pick fresh broccoli from the plant and snack as they observed.
Innocence and beauty and perfect design. All preferable to horror and fear, pain and sadness.
Perhaps the greatest reason to be glad this week is that the 6th graders at our church, including our own sweet girl, are being Confirmed tomorrow. I can't think of a better time to equip these precious children with the knowledge and assurance of their God. In a time of terror and sadness, to know you can reach out and find comfort in the arms of your God is more powerful than any disaster.
Our prayers and hearts go out to the people whose lives were shattered last night in an explosion in West, to those whose victorious moments at the finish line of the Boston Marathon turned to shock and terror. To those who have huddled in their homes all night and day in Boston, unsure of the location of a madman. Prayers, too, go out to people across the nation that struggle to know why these acts of terror continue to threaten and assault us.
My faith is in God and I pray for comfort. For the words to tell my children. For the words to tell myself. I am thankful for the journey that over 80 kids are about to embark upon to grow their faith in Christ, and know the peace that comes with that faith. God, please grant peace.
I leave you with some images that give me peace. I hope they provide some for you.