I’ve been pretty quiet since Friday because I have been trying to collect my thoughts. Quite frankly, I still don’t know what to say. For someone who normally expresses themselves in words, that is a bit frustrating. As I watched the events of Friday unfold, my heart was filled with horror, anger, grief. I don’t have any deep or profound words here; I am rendered speechless and heartbroken in the face of such tragedy. There is nothing that can be said to make sense of it, to ease the pain of those who are suffering. And as I think about it, the one thing that keeps repeating in my head is “Come Lord Jesus. Please come soon.”
This morning we sung a song at church that seemed so appropriate for this time. Some of the words:
And in the despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said.
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.”
I could not have said it better myself. How do you grapple with the reality that someone walked into an elementary school and took the lives of 20 precious children and 6 adults? What do you do when you cannot comprehend the incomprehensible? Indeed, each day things happen that defy explanation; and even if the the reasons were known, it still would not register. We still would not understand.
This morning, my pastor led us to the book of Habakkuk. This small, prophetic book in the Old Testament begins with words similar to my own:
O Lord, how long shall I cry,
And You will not hear?
Even cry out to you, “Violence!”
And you will not save? (1:)
Reality is not kind here. The tragedy of the fallenness of man plays itself out everyday, and in greater and greater degree. It will continue until the Lord’s return. The question our pastor asked was, in what or in whom do we put our trust? Do we trust that things may get better? Do we trust in the passage of stricter gun control laws? The sad truth is that we cannot. We cannot trust in man or in laws, however wise and well thought out they may be, to prevent such things from happening.
In what, then, shall we trust?
If it were left up to us, we surely would have reason to give up; we indeed would despair and have no reason to hope. But we cannot stop there. We must place our hope in the Lord. Our worship leader reminded us of the words of Isaih 60:19-22, that tells us that He is coming, and that He will end our days of mourning. The promise is that “I, the Lord will hasten it in its time”. Oh how I long for that time to come.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
There will be a day when there will be no more tears, no more sadness, no more pain. The cry of my heart is, “Make haste, O Lord. Come, Lord Jesus.”
*Lyrics from “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), 1867