Finding Light in the Texas Church Shooting

I read a news article about how 8 people in a single family were killed during the Texas shooting at First Baptist Church. It said that one of the child-victims had won an award at the 4-H Club the day before. It was just a small detail. The article didn’t even identify the gender of the child.

This morning I was in a particularly good mood and for some reason this made me think of that child. I thought how happy she must have been to win an award. I imagined the light it must have brought to her face despite the forthcoming darkness that would reign from a hail of bullets the very next day. I thought of her mother, who was also killed, and all the busying mothers do on Saturdays. I imagined her pride and joy in her child’s accomplishment, along with all the ordinary things she did that day.

It seemed strange to associate my happy mood with any aspect of this tragedy – even if it was an event that preceded it. But such are the times we live in when our hearts are expected to endure such unfathomable evil and unimaginable suffering when they were meant for love and mercy. It makes everything feel a little wonky and wayward.

After all, how are we supposed to reconcile this? Do we just move on in our busyness? Do we lose ourselves in sorrow? Do we harden our hearts and seek the sinister? Do we blame, criticize, and cajole to push our politics and preferences in an attempt to bring ‘good’ from this tragedy?

Likely, the response for many includes some version of the above.

I didn’t intend to write about it. There is no need to belabor this tragedy by pouring out a litany of raw emotion. Most of us share the same horror, grief, and feelings of helplessness.

Lamenting on how horrific it is, exploring the magnitude of loss and grief, mental illness and gun control, and politics and policies feels cliché. It’s not that these things don’t matter or that the time isn’t right for such discussions. But somehow, all of that feels like a distraction. It takes the humanity out of it.

Our humanity is made to love, create families, cherish children, respect life, and worship God. By all accounts, the victims of this mass shooting seemed to be embracing the best of our humanity.

That’s what I want to remember.

I don’t want to dwell on the evil that must exist to execute such devastation. I don’t think I could ever understand it. It’s an aberration of what we were created for and an abomination that calls into question the evolution of our collective humanity.

I was in a happy mood today.

I don’t say that with any irreverence to this tragedy, but because it made me think of it. It made me think of that child, her family, and how they spent their last full day on earth. They died a dark, undeserved death but they lived the light of humanity reminding us of simple Saturdays, sacred Sundays, and legacies of love that outlive the notoriety of mass murders and the hype of such horrors.

For all of us trying to live the best of our creation, that light shines on. Certainly, that makes me happy.

 

If you are willing to share how you intend to let your light shine as a legacy to those who died while representing the best of our humanity, please comment below.  We could all use a little extra happiness right now.  

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Finding Light in the Texas Church Shooting

  • November 9, 2017 at 3:34 am
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    I have felt for a long time how I would regret the mindless moments that I spend with my kids. The ones where I am not really present! This tragedy has made that even more real. Now that Katie is a senior I can see that it all does go really fast. The best thing I can do is vow to stop being mindless in those moments and look them straight in the eye! Then just soak it all in! Because beauty and joy are in the simple moments. And I want to cherish each one!
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us all!

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    • November 9, 2017 at 1:44 pm
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      I agree, Wendy. Sometimes I feel like I have a delayed reaction when talking to my kids (and my husband!) I will be in the middle of something and then I realize oh my, I am not paying attention! It is troubling because the older they get the more precious these tid bits of conversation become. I think the older I get the more I realize that the most precious parts of life aren’t bit momentous occasions. There is glory in the faithfulness to the ordinary. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment. I love to hear other people’s thoughts on these things.

      Reply
  • November 9, 2017 at 1:26 am
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    Yes…. Thankful for the reminder to appreciate the best of our humanity…. the people working to love God and their neighbor…. the people just living this life as best we all can….Xoxo

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    • November 9, 2017 at 2:08 am
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      For me, it makes me realize all those simple, mundane things I do – matter more than I often think. It doesn’t always feel like it but there is a goodness in these efforts.

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  • November 7, 2017 at 11:59 pm
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    Thank you Lara! I am thrilled you are writing again. Great insight!! HUGS XOXO

    Reply

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