by Cindy Hester
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit” Psalms 34:18
I was busy blow drying my hair this morning getting ready to start a day of cleaning and Christmas shopping. The TV was on in the bedroom next to me, but I was not particularly paying attention. Not until I heard the sound of breaking news and learned of the horrific school shooting in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut.
It is not my purpose to dramatize or capitalize on a subject that has already been somewhat exploited by the news media. Please do not get me wrong – I appreciate those who bring us the news of the day and who attempt to help us understand the loss, grief and needs of those who are involved. It is just that I sometimes wonder the motivation and wisdom behind continuously repeating the images and details for hours on end.
I thought of my little grandson who is about to begin pre-school and kindergarten. I suppose we cannot help but personalize these happenings to a certain degree. I believe it is God’s way of helping us to empathize with other human beings with whom we have no close connection. The fact we are brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins causes us to relate somewhat to the excrutiating pain and loss that has blindsided these dear people.
I sat listening to the tearful account of one of the teachers in the classroom next to the shooting. I thought of all the brave, loving teachers in whose hands we place our children each day. I thought of several young friends who are in their first or second year of teaching. The thought of them being placed in a situation such as this broke my heart. I thought of my daughter who is a counselor at a local school. I thought of all of the questions she will be facing from hurting, confused students who might possibly fear coming to school even though this happened thousands of miles away.
I also couldn’t help but ask God why. Why these babies? Why these innocent teachers? In the midst of questioning, God reminded that His heart was broken as well. God is not a God who delights in our pain. It is such a reminder that we live in a broken world with broken people who have forgotten the source of healing. It is a condition of anger, selfishness, broken minds and souls from broken relationships. The fact is, there are mean people out there who do bad things. I cannot imagine attempting to make it through the losses they cause without my faith. Moreover I cannot imagine trudging through grief, pain, and loss without the hope Christ brought to this earth over 2,000 years ago. It is a hope that lives on because He died on a cross, and rose to live again. He lives to provide forgiveness of sin and a daily relationship with Him…a relationship that empowers, comforts, loves, guides and directs, and a relationship that “binds up the brokenhearted and heals our wounds.”
I hope you will watch the video I placed at the beginning of this blog. It is a song that I played for my own father whenever he was battling with questions, fears, and discouragement in the later stages of dealing with his cancer. It has carried me through many times of questioning and searching to acceptance and peace. May God bless you all with peace and joy as we celebrate the reason to have hope – the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart. All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you. I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.”