Death is not your story. It’s the reason you came near to us. The reality that birthed you as a savior to bring hope to this dark world. And we believe in this hope. We grasp for it in moments like these when the darkness is just too much to bear.
Children? Really? Come on, Lord. Surely there was something you could have done!
Free will. I get that. I love that about your creative design. It’s the greatest expression of genuine love ever witnessed. And yet, I know you as an intervening God. Active in this world. Colliding with the activity of your created people. In the days of Abraham, in the years of my own life, you are present. I have felt you. Experienced you. Witnessed you. You have intervened and overcome the enemy countless times before.
So, where were you on Friday? If this is confusing to me — one who believes without doubt that you are good, and who knows in my spirit that you are faithful — what about those who aren’t convinced of your love? Or that you even exist?
In these moments I feel this need to defend you. To speak the truth that you didn’t cause this. And yet, admitting that you even “allowed” it doesn’t seem to create a very solid case for how good you are. So what are we supposed to say about you right now? How shall we represent?
You don’t have to answer, ‘cause I already know. The only genuine response to all people and all whole and broken realities is love. You don’t need for us to defend you. You just want us to respond in love. To be available in moments of tragedy. To listen to the stories that deserve our attention. To pray healing and restoration over those who grieve. To pray love over those who will now fear. To pray peace over those who’s reaction is defense.
And you’re asking us to wait. For your will to come to fruition, for you to come again to gather us home for eternity. The waiting seems harder in moments like this, but it causes me to long for you more. To wait with more eagerness.
We need you to come, Lord Jesus. We need you to be born. Today. Not next week. And not in a manger, but in this horrific story that captures our entire nation. Will you do that? Will you be born in us?
Into the wails of the mothers.
Into the fear of the children.
Into the helplessness of the fathers.
Into the siblings who will struggle to understand.
Into the new quiet of these homes.
Into the building that is tainted with evil.
Into the community who suffers deep loss.
Into the hole left by 20 children of the same generation, in the same community.
Into the images haunting those who gathered, cleaned, carried and examined.
Into those doubting how or if they were helpful in the moment of terror.
Into those who are close to the needs.
Into those witnessing from afar.
Into the family who is feeling great shame.
Into the anxiety felt by teachers and administration.
Into the hopeless thoughts of those who have no truth to grasp onto.
We ask you to come, Jesus. Conceive in us your life that we might be restored and renewed in our faith.