Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
For a long time I have been telling my younger friends not to have any children. Don’t get me wrong. I love children, especially sweet smelling babies that you can hug and snuggle against forever. My problem with babies and by extension children is that no matter hard you may try, you can never keep them totally safe – even here in Barbados.
Remember the teenaged girl who was stabbed to death in the restroom at the Foundation School by another student? And what about the boy who was killed for his cellphone or the 12 year old who fatally stabbed the 14 year old recently? Let’s not even talk about bullying, peer pressure, stalkers … the list can be overwhelming.
When I became a parent, I was amazed at the depth of love I had for this little person who cried and nursed non-stop. As he grew older, I found myself not only laughing with him but literally crying with him whenever he was hurt. Nathan is 16 years old now but every morning I drop him off at school and hope never to hear the words I fear most: “You need to come to the school; there’s been an accident.”
In the end, we are so very powerless when it comes to protecting our offspring from the harsher aspects of life but although this is true, I cannot begin to imagine for one moment being a parent of one of those innocent children murdered almost one year ago in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, USA. Why target little helpless children who could not defend themselves? Why shoot them over and over and over? How cowardly! How sad! How unnecessary!
Maybe like me, your eyes remained riveted to the television set as tears fell for the families and the heroic teachers who tried to save the lives of those children. Your heart burned for the spiritual leaders who had to be strong for those who lost loved ones. You were proud of President Obama for his support of everyone, in his role first and foremost as a father.
As I write these meaningless words, words that can never bring a dead human being back to life, I hold close instead the words of Monsignor Robert Weiss who when interviewed about how the parents were coping said: “This world has become so violent, at least they know their child is safe.”
Yes, those that have died are all safe now but death does not conquer us. We conquer death – because Jesus conquered it for us. We therefore trust in turn that these angels – both big and small – are resting safely in His arms.
The holiday season may never ever be the same, but to all those who have lost loved ones (and especially the community of Newtown in Connecticut), our love and prayers are with you even though we are so very far away.
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4 (NIV)