I remember watching an old ‘B’ movie when I was a young child where the heroine of the movie had a nightmare. In describing it to the leading man, the actress was swooning and melodramatic. That frightened me. The way she talked about a nightmare, it was the worst possible thing that could happen. I don’t really remember having bad dreams as a child. I know that the ones I had did indeed disturb me terribly. I learned that if I went to bed and imagined not having a nightmare, then it wouldn’t happen. All I had to do was imagine a worst case scenario to prevent it from happening. If only that really worked for us.
When I was in kindergarten, I had a worst case scenario in my head. I didn’t think imagining it would prevent it, either. I thought about it in order to be prepared for it and have a plan. The worst thing I thought could ever happen at my elementary school was for my clothes to suddenly vanish, leaving me in the costume of Adam in front of the kindergarten. I had things planned out for that with variables. If I was sitting at my desk I could just stay there. If it happened to everyone at once and we were all in the starks, then maybe no-one would notice me and I could run. But if I was out in the open or in front of the class and suddenly my clothing vanished, just mine, and I had nothing to cover with, and then my legs didn’t work and I was compelled to just stand there… well, I didn’t have a plan thought out for that. It worried me. That was the worst possible thing that could happen to me at school.
I wish every child could still have that be their worst fear. And I wish that the worst fear that parents could have would be that their child isn’t dressed warmly enough. I am just as shocked, horrified and grieved as everyone else in the country in the wake of last week’s shootings. I didn’t for a moment think I could blog anything that helped this make sense. I wish I knew why this happened and who to blame so that it would never happen again. But placing blame will not bring back any murdered people. In my anguish and confusion I read one thing that I want to share. My wife, Prajna wrote it and I not only agreed with it, I asked her if I could post it this morning. Here it is:
After today's tragedy in CT, many of you may be asking, "How can you believe in a God who allows these things to happen?" I've asked that question myself. When Naomi was diagnosed with cancer at age three I had a crisis of faith. Why would God allow an innocent little girl to suffer like this? I came to the conclusion that horrible things happen to everyone. Maybe not THIS horrible, but that's just the way our world is. After a lot of tears and sleepless nights I decided that I would rather go through life, and the eventual death of my daughter three years later, with God by my side rather than alone. Losing your baby is the worst thing imaginable, but through it all I knew I had someone to lean on. We can have a hope and future free of pain and sorrow. But not here. So if you know someone affected by this tragedy, don't try to make them feel better. Just give them a hug, say you're sorry and pray for them. Recovery is possible, but only with the hope and peace that comes from God. It has been 10 years since Naomi died and this is the first year I haven't fallen to pieces in December. I couldn't have done it alone.
I don’t want to believe that everything happens for a reason. I do, however believe that God creates everyone for a reason. We all have hearts that can reach out to broken people. This isn’t a commission to my readers to go and reach out. People will do what they are moved to do. I want to say that there is hope.
“only with the hope and peace that comes from God”