The tragedy in Connecticut yesterday has nearly left speechless. It’s one of those situations that makes me feel overwhelmed with so many different emotions.
Watching coworkers, both male and female, sob at their desks yesterday suddenly brought me back to September 11, 2001. That is the last time I can remember our country so disheveled, so desperate. In the midst of a tragedy where the loss is beyond comprehension and words, tears are the only offerings that we, as strangers, can give to those who have been directly affected. So we cry for them. We fill our hearts with empathy and sorrow and let the tears flow freely in hopes that the families who are suffering might somehow feel our love and our willingness to take on even a morsel of their pain, if only possible. We can’t truly understand what they are going through, but we cry for them and we cry with them. It is all we can do. We have had plenty of tragedies happen since 9/11, but this one has been “soul shattering” to quote a Newton, Connecticut reporter.
I feel angry at God for allowing this to happen. I find myself asking a lot of questions starting with why, how, and what’s the point? The funny thing about feeling angry at God, though, is that soon enough the anger dissipates and turns into hopelessness, despair, sorrow, and confusion. Sure enough, God’s comfort is what I ultimately ask for, what I need. I realize again and again that it is not our job or even capability as humans to know why, it is beyond our realm of understanding and control.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinth 4:18
All I can do is pray for the families who lost their children, their sweet innocent babies. I pray for those who lost a sibling, daughter, and friend. It doesn’t make sense, but not much in this life does.
A quote that my ethics professor introduced me to awhile ago seemed appropriate for how I’m feeling today, and probably many others:
“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.”
This is merely the first and last paragraph in a really beautiful piece, but I love the way Russell Bertrand so eloquently speaks the words of my heart.