I sat down to right this blog with the intention of writing something Christmas-related. I’ve been consumed by all things holidays this week – at work, at home, in my head – and have literally accomplished only what has to get done each given day, that very day. No one or nothing says I have to write my blog so, sadly, it’s somehow slipped through my seasonal stresses.
But, I am grabbing a precious moment to write right now. Writing is beneficial to me in ways I can’t even explain. Like I said, I had every intention of writing something cheerful, but as I was looking through the photo file I often use for this blog, I ran across this picture that I took last spring in Oklahoma City:
It sits right outside the Oklahoma City National Memorial and is called “And Jesus Wept.” I’ve seen it countless times but each time it touches me. Jesus wept the day of the Murrah Building bombing, and he’s weeping now. He weeps for the families and friends in Newtown, Connecticut. He weeps for all of us.
“There is no heartache that heaven cannot heal.”
Pope John Paul II
I don’t have any words of wisdom on the horrific subject and I have no platforms to stand on. I will leave those to the so-called “experts” on the multiple channels that have created a circus of coverage. All I can do is pray and hope. I pray for the families who are hurting beyond hurt. I pray for the townspeople and for our nation as a whole. I also pray for the many priests, pastors, ministers and leaders of faith who are now being called to nearly impossibly somehow comfort and explain. I also hope that nothing like this ever, ever happens again. Wishful thinking? Maybe. Unrealistic? Probably. Still, I hope and I pray.
I’ve seen many tributes, poems, and essays on the shootings, but none of them make me feel better. Our priest’s sermon this past Sunday is the closest I’ve heard. He reminded us that although the Christmas season is full of joy and cheer, the real Christmas was full of pain and suffering. Joseph and Mary had been run out of their town, she was pregnant, riding a donkey in the cold, and delivered a baby in what was basically a stinky barn full of animals. Out of all that suffering came the greatest gift of all though. I’m hoping that the suffering in that idyllic town in Connecticut will result in something good someday. What that might be, I have no idea. In the meantime I will focus on that little baby lying in the hay and the one weeping.
“The Lord is close to thos whose hearts are breaking.” Ps. 34:18