I spent time on Friday afternoon filming a lighthearted video about how I curl my hair–editing it, uploading it, and adding a post to go with it. I set it to publish at 8am today. As you can see, this is not that post.
Because right now, at 10:30pm on Sunday night, I am writing this one instead. And I don’t have an agenda, and there’s nothing I can say that will change the horrific tragedy in Paris (or the attacks in Kenya back in April, or the myriad needless killings that have taken place recently), nothing that will restore the beautifully beating hearts of the precious people whose lives were ripped away from them.
But out of respect, out of the tears that just keep coming, out of acknowledging that no person is an island and a single death leaves in its wake people who are broken clear in two, wondering how they’ll make it, wondering if they’ll ever breathe again, I’m writing this.
I know I can’t reverse what’s happened. I just want to sit in brokenness for our world.
I wept on Friday night, my head on my husband’s chest, soaking his t-shirt with my salty tears. I thought how the death toll numbers that are spoken over and over on the news don’t carry the weight of the reality: that there are mamas who have lost their babies, there are husbands who have lost their wives, there are sisters who have lost their brothers, there are people who have lost their people.
Weeping, I thought how I’d crumble into a million pieces if I lost my husband, and how I’d never make it, and how I’d live my whole life with a Riley-sized hole in my heart. How I’d mourn the loss of the could’ve-beens: the houses we never lived in, the babies we never made, the memories we never shared. And I couldn’t break through my own heartbroken hyperventilation for a long time–all this pain, with my head on his still-beating heart.
And with that, I invited grief to sit heavy within me. Because there are people–whole families–crumbled on the floor, barely breathing, mourning unthinkable loss right now. I can’t pick up the pieces of this massive and widespread and life-shattering brokenness and glue them back together, but isn’t there power in humanness, in realizing the innate value of human life, and in desperately, deeply mourning its loss?
There are people much smarter than I who have ideas and plans to combat this kind of terrorism; but, as for me, I don’t know how to fix this or even where I would begin to construct such a plan. I just know that my soul aches for our world, and all I can do is get on my knees and pray and pray and pray and pray and pray.
But unfortunately, as if the splitting up of families and slicing up of hearts hasn’t been divisive enough, I now see a thousand opinions about profile picture filters and how we should be reacting and how if you’re praying just for Paris it’s not right and if you’re praying for the whole world it’s not right and how if you’re hoping for peace it’s not right and how if you’re pushing for war it’s not right.
But I wish it would all stop. Because what’s not right is valuable God-breathed people losing their lives needlessly. What’s not right is mamas who will never hug their babies again. What’s not right is the evil that has penetrated hearts and convinced humans that other humans aren’t worth anything.
So today, here, I’m sitting in brokenness. I don’t know what to do or say, I don’t even really know what to pray. I just know that Jesus wept and so am I and light does overcome darkness, it always does. But there’s no band-aid or quick-fix or easy solution. Just hard, weighty grief and being broken together.