Thursday, May 26, 2022


 I wish I had more than words to offer. I wish I could somehow take the pain of families in the midst of unbelievable agony right now, that I could somehow offer them hope and comfort. More than anything, I wish I could give those parents back their babies and bring back the heroic teachers who tried to shield their students.

This world is broken, and sometimes it's made painfully obvious by people who do unspeakable evil.

In these moments, everyone is searching for answers. Everyone wants to figure out something to do, something that will somehow stop the hurting. We try to find meaning in the unimaginable, try to make sense of an atrocious act.

Can I offer some advice? If you know these families--or anyone facing grief--you don't have to offer answers. You don't have to come up with reasons. You don't have to try to find the silver lining or the lesson to be learned. Don't turn their tragedy into a talking point or something political. Instead, just sit with them in their grief. Cry with them. Listen to them. Let them rant. Let them question. Let them tell stories. Try, for whatever time you're around them, to at least share the weight of their grief, because though it is unimaginable to those of us who haven't gone through it, thieir grief is something we are called to help bear.

So in your own time, pray for them. Pray for comfort from the One who understands their pain, the One who watched His own innocent Son slain at the hands of the wicked. Pray that each breath they take will be a little less painful--and pray they will regain the desire to draw those breaths. Pray that they will have people to lean on when their legs won't hold them up anymore and people to help with the day to day stuff that has to be done but just seems meaningless right now. Pray that they will be granted sleep and rest, things that are hard to come by in the grips of grief. Pray that their broken hearts will be mended instead of becoming stone, because it's a lot easier to let your heart get hardened than it is to deal with the pain of it healing. Pray that their sadness is eventually eclipsed by the beauty of happy memories, that they will have moments when something they recall makes them smile through the tears.

And months from now, when the rest of the world has gone on spinning, reach out. Make sure they know the ones they love aren't forgotten. And remind them that God is near to the brokenhearted. He will one day give them beauty to take the place of ashes and joy to replace mourning...

...but until then, He will be with them in the pain.

After all, it is I, the Eternal One your God,
        who has hold of your right hand,
    Who whispers in your ear,
“Don’t be afraid. I will help you.”
(Isaiah 41:13)

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