12.15.2012

Gun Laws, Praying Moms and Christmas Programs {This Is Why I Pray}

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5


Yesterday, I had a busy morning of errands. My Dear Hubby was home and we were spending time chatting over coffee, and planning Christmas details and his upcoming vacation time. I had a beach walk with a friend and a long list of things to accomplish before my sweet Girl's Christmas program in the evening. 

I had planned to pick my daughter up a half hour early from school so that she would have a little extra time to get ready for her night. She is singing at the Christmas Program and this is a ray of light in a somewhat dark season of our life at this time. She often rehearses in the shower for an hour or more behind steamy curtain, under running water, before an unseen audience. 

It was a busy day and I do not normally allow myself a steady diet of news, although it comes my way various many channels including the social media kind.

I popped onto the computer for a quick peek into the Internet world and two comments catch my eye on Facebook. One is from a friend who speaks of Gun Laws, the next is from a sweet Bloggy sister via Twitter and mentions prayers for Connecticut families. I am in the dark, but immediately feel sick to my stomach. I shut off the computer as by the mercy of God my schedule does not have room today for me to jump into the News feed stream. I am expected elsewhere and my morning itinerary becomes my salvation. As I head out in the car, I channel surf the radio seeking more information. I think back to days before information overload and wonder it, at last settling on a local station that is speaking about details they are still piecing together and I am trying to absorb. Slowly details do emerge and my heart grows heavy as I pull into the school parking lot. 

I have learned that a young man in his early twenties has shot and killed one of his parents as well as a number of children in an elementary school in Connecticut. 

This is all I know at 2:30 yesterday afternoon as I arrive at my Girl's school

The school nurse immediately shushes my mentioning the news, even though we stand in the foyer alone. She is protective for ears that might hear before parents have a chance to prepare them. I have grown to appreciate her fierce protectiveness and respect for privacy this past year. 

I scoop up my girl and with the few details I have mentally weigh when to tell her- before the onslaught from media assails her, sending fear straight into her already anxious heart. 

She is chatting, and I realize this too is grace...I am a parent torn between enjoying her presence at this moment and feeling the strong desire to weep for those that have lost their own precious little ones. I am living a double life. Beneath the surface with the little info I have I am imagining if it were my girl gone and feeling nauseous with suspicion of the magnitude of what has happened that I do not yet even know full.

We hurry home, I show her the scarf and tights I bought for her and she swoons.
She wants to shower. I fight the urge to turn on the news.

I debate if I should tell her.

"May I have my phone to listen to music while I shower?"

I give it to her.

She shuts the door.

"Wait, I need to tell you something, honey."

I tell her the little I know and she is angry at me.

"Was it a Christian School?" she demands.

I explain that I wanted to tell her before she heard it elsewhere.

"Mom, now I am going to be paranoid. I wish you didn't tell me."

I am more sick inside, wondering that there is never a good time to speak of tragedy.

How it touches us all.

How I am filled with sadness for families I don't know.
For children I will never know in this lifetime.

For all that is evil and unjust, I weep.

I did not want to tell her until after her Christmas program, as she struggles with anxiousness already,
but wanted to tell her before anyone else did.

I hear of so many children daily who are dealing with anxiousness.
Why wouldn't our children be anxious?

The times are unprecedentedly evil.
Where children hate parents so deeply they wear anger like a badge and tote guns in their pockets seeking to kill.
Where God is not welcome in the schools, but everything else is.

This is why I pray.
I recognize that committing to one hour a week of praying for one school, those in that school and my child is needful, not optional.
I recognize that when I send my daughter off for 7 hours 5 days a week, it is a small sacrifice to commit to cover in prayer the students, staff and families who are part of this community.
I pray because sometimes I feel helpless.

I pray because the days are evil and there are no words for these kinds of events, but only crying out to God for hope and healing.

I am not saying that Gun Laws could not be better.
I am not a person who has much experience or knowledge of guns.

I am a mom who knows the power of prayer. 
I am saying that every school and child should have praying moms uniting together against the forces of evil and darkness. 

Last night we enjoyed the Christmas Program put on by our children at a neighboring church.I watched with both pride and joy for the children and my own sweet girl. I wept inwardly when a group of twenty or so 5-8 year old children sang, and parents clamored for pictures. My heart was breaking as I caught a glimpse in my mind's eye of parents who have forever lost this opportunity. 

After the program, refreshments were enjoyed at our small school. 
I felt so grateful for this community.
Parents, teachers, children together celebrating, talking and sharing together.
Hugs are usually shared but they were a little tighter, longer. 
Children ran around the cookie filled tables, while parents lingered. 

This night the focus was our own children exalting the Babe in a manger with song and instruments.

But in the days ahead we will be mourning and grieving deeply for families who will need prayers and love and grace. 

Oh, Lord, God I am trusting in You for that which I cannot begin to fathom.That you will be the God of Comfort that you have been to me and many.That you will make Yourself known to every generation, and that your grace will be shed abundantly.In The Name of Jesus, I ask. 


A note: I have scheduled posts for most of December to allow for LESS computer time. I felt I had to share my heart about this tragedy. I also confess I still have not watched news and am trying to stay away from Social Media. The reason why is, I want to be able to pray and tune in to the Spirit of God more than the spirit of man. I know I could get sucked into 24 hour news bouts and really feel a strong conviction to pray diligently and fast from media for a period. My heart and prayers will be for the families and communities impacted through this tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
In His Grace, Dawn



5 comments:

  1. Eloquently said,and a wise decision, my friend.

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  2. So perfectly beautiful sweet Dawn! Hug her extra hard.

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  3. Well put. And yes, prayer is powerful. Patrick Henry Reardon said something like this: When a person prays he renders active the most powerful potential present in every human being.

    Ben
    Becoming Orthodox

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  4. I am right there with you Dawn, I grieve for the families and everyone affected by this tragedy. I too cannot listen to all the updates because it is too much and my heart breaks. All I can do is pray as I have been doing for all those affected. Hugs.

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walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)