Yes, but not quite yet.

I have to admit that the article I posted the other day might have been too soon. I still think that we have to learn how to grieve in a way that does not incapacitate us. We also have to learn to allow these communities that experience such horrors…may there never be another like this…to grieve in their own way in the intimacy of relationships with those who knew their children and teachers, while still somehow showing that we have all been impacted by their devastating loss.

I truly am not sure how we do that…how we give space and yet embrace. It is true even when those in our midst face grief that we cannot completely understand. Learning to mourn well with others…

Still, I think that we are caught by the story of Sandy Hook even more because, well, it is Christmas.

We should, and they should, be singing carols and icing cookies and laughing and dreaming and wishing….and not thinking of horrors.

 The shock of the events is amplified because it is set in the time of hope.

This article by Karen Spears Zachariashelped me understand my own emotions at the moment. I have been able to think through the events intellectually and to place them in a certain frame spiritually, but as we move through the events of Christmas, the loss of those in Newtown will not be ignored. Especially for those of us who have little 6 year olds in our families who are so filled with innocence and with hope and with joy….and not terror and fear.

There are, honestly, so many thoughts that are jumbled in my brain right now. I want to think about how I want next year to be different and what I have learned about home school from this first Fall. I want to think about my mom and my family as we continue on the journey of dementia…and I feel very far from them at Christmas time. I want to think through more of the lessons of learned in the things of been reading. I also want to think about those in Newtown with compassion that is void of spectatorship and also void of ambivalence. I want to think about where God was in those moments for those children, and think about Who God is and what I believe. I want to allow myself the space to be impacted by these events in the way that I should…as a human, as a mother and as a believer.

I have a tendency to push things to arm’s length, though. So, if my article the other day was too soon, it may be part of my own make up in being somewhat insular and holding deep grief off. Part of it is because I do not have the space to weep openly with four little ones watching me move through the day. They know that there is grief to be expressed at this moment, but they do not need to see their mother undone.

So, all these things, swirling in my mind along with all the things of Christmas. Trying to make happy memories, enjoying concerts and Christmas lights and Advent stories. Buying presents that will bring joy….all such conflicting emotions.

The article I linked to above Karen Spears Zacharias helped me bring things a little more into focus. The confusion, the chaos in my own thinking, is part of the brokenness, it is part of the waiting and it is amplified by Advent.  All of the suffering, all of the loss of innocence, all of the hatred….and there is so much more out there than just Newtown, overwhelming more…pokes us and prods us and reminds us and shouts at us and whsipers to us….

We need HOPE.

We need a hope that comes from one who can actually deliver, one who can actually save, one who can actually change the course of events.

God responded to the evil around us in the Cross. I have no idea why some of those children died and others did not, I have no idea why some die of cancer and others do not…when they are equally prayed for, I have no idea why some tragedies happen and some are averted. But I believe that God is, and I believe that He is good and I believe that He sent His Son to redeem us from the evil that eats away not just at culture, but at our very selves. The sin that captures our beings and will not let us go…He came to conquer that and to redeem us and to bring us a hope that we can rest in.

He came to make all things new.

He came. He came. He came. He came. He came.

There are no words, and yet our words spill out in multitudes because it is the only way we have to release the thoughts and emotions and grief…and maybe if we speak enough we will find the word that will bring healing for our souls and the souls in Newtown.

The word is Jesus.

God came. It was  messy and confusing and there were many who died in the journey. Little babes that Herod hated as the man in Newtown hated. That evil is great and on our own it is terrifying because we cannot conquer it in any way other than shooting it down and killing it…but it rises again in another.  Only One Who can make all things new can completely conquer that evil.

And He will. I say with shaking voice, and with hope that sometimes doubts and with wonder at what that will really look like.  He came, though. And the fact of Advent screams as loudly in the face of evil of Newtown….that evil will not win. God came, and He will make all things new. In the meantime, in this now-and-not-yet….we grieve, but with hope.


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