A Parent’s Loss

For the past 3 days, I’ve purposely avoided the news.  Sure, I’ve read about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting through a few articles on CNN and NYTimes.com and seen the posts on my Facebook newsfeed, but I refused to watch any television reports.  Call it dysfunctional or what you may, but this is the way that I deal with tragic events.  I’m afraid that if I turn on the news, I will cry.

This morning, as I was running on the treadmill in the gym, the Today Show was playing in the background.  Of course, they had do a piece on the shooting. Of course they had to interview a family member and show pictures of a darling six-year-old girl with sweet dimples.  As they flashed an adorable photo of a smiling girl with her arm around her little brother and the voiceover talked about what a great big sister she was and how her brother has been asking where she is all weekend, I totally lost it.

I wept for the 26 victims, the twenty kindergartners/first-graders, and the brave adults who tried to save the children.  I wept as I thought about the parents who have plan a funeral this week instead of planning fun winter vacation activities.  I wept as I thought about the wrapped presents under the Christmas trees that may never be opened.  I wept as I thought about the grandparents and aunts and uncles who had been anticipating sweet hugs and kisses from their grandchildren/nieces/nephews during this holiday season.  I wept as I thought about siblings who will ask over and over what happened to their sister or brother on that very very sad day.

So despite my efforts to avoid television and not cry for the past three days, there I was, running and sobbing on the treadmill at 7 mph in a room full of strangers, tears and snot flowing down my face.

I know that many people, including myself, are asking “Why God, why?  Why would you allow such an evil thing to happen?”  I know that as a parent, this particular act of violence seems to hit too close to home and I hope that I will never ever have to experience this kind of pain.  But as I pray for God to bring peace and comfort to the victims’ families, the one thought that keeps coming back to me is that although I don’t know why He allowed this to happen, I am reminded that if there is Someone who truly understands the heartbreak of a parent losing an innocent child, it is our God. Our God who gave up his beloved Son for us.  As I dry my tears, I continue to pray that as families heal from this tragedy, they can experience the ultimate love of this sovereign God who knows exactly what they are going through.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the man upon the cross
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Why should I gain from His reward
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Lyrics from “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”  by Stuart Townend


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