"The Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will."
The only thing I could think to do on Friday evening, was to take myself to the water's edge. I watched the setting sun paint bold stripes across the twilight sky. I stood still, breathing in the frosty air and let the tears come.
As heaven's door was opening wide to welcome God's children home, I prayed.
Prayed, knowing that heaven's door was open...
Prayed, knowing that millions were lifting their eyes heavenward, hoping for the beyond...
Prayed, knowing that goodness was embracing those that had been taken....
Prayed, willing the heavens to send us goodness.
Send comfort and peace to those left behind.
I asked for faith. I begged for understanding and hope.
Mostly there were silent prayers. Wordless prayers.
Saturday morning, that same sun brought a new day.
Sparkling frost on the window sent chills. How would I, could I .... as a parent, greet a new day without one of my children? These are not the first parents to face this, nor would they be the last. It is so utterly unfathomable to me. As I got into my car to go meet a friend...as life went on...I knew that more of those wordless prayers were groaning and working their way heavenward.
It was later last night, as we spent an evening with my daughter, her husband and some of our dearest friends that I felt my heart begin to settle. A bit. My daughter, who loves to decorate for Christmas, has her childhood manger on a shelf in her newlywed home ... it's surrounded with light and mementos from her wedding. And I'm overcome with gratitude for the life that she's had...that she has. And pray that her future children will be safe. Children should just be safe. And I groan, and the Spirit pleads.
It was wonderful to get to play with three gorgeous children last night. Their laughter, innocence, energy and hugs began to fill up the broken open places in my heart. For me, as I'm sure is true for everyone reading here today....one of my favorite, absolutely favorite things, is to look into the eyes of a child.
As Sunday morning draws to a close, and I sit with you...in this space, searching for words...I know, as so many have written, that there really aren't any. So, I will, again, close my eyes, and offer silent prayers.