This is a hard post to write. And I’ve debated back and forth about whether or not to make my feelings so public or just keep it to myself in my journal. This is an organizing blog, after all. But I feel like I should, so I’m going to. I hope it helps someone out there.
Yesterday I felt nothing but sadness, a lot of anger and heartbreak surrounding the Connecticut events.
Even though I don’t know a single soul in that entire state I felt as if it had happened to me or my best friend. It felt that real. I couldn’t stop crying. My heart hurt for those parents, for their families, for the children who survived, for everyone.
Everyone except the shooter. I hated him. I could not find peace. I went to bed with a very heavy heart.
Then last night I had a dream.
I saw the little children who had been killed yesterday in heaven with our Savior, Jesus Christ. That I expected. Those little children are innocent.
What I didn’t expect was that they were surrounding the shooter, hugging him, crying.
They were forgiving him.
Wow. I was shocked. And yet should I be shocked?
I know that the shooter will have to pay for his sins one way or another, but that’s not up to me to decide.
It’s up to me to love and to forgive. I know it will be hard at times, but that’s my job.
This morning I looked at my little children and realized how forgiving they really are. I mean, I’ve always known it. But it was different somehow.
I don’t know if it’s even possible for little children to hold grudges or stay mad for very long. I’m not an expert, by any means, but what I’ve witnessed as I’ve raised my children is that the older we get, the easier it is to stay mad; to hold grudges, to want revenge.
Yesterday I wanted the shooter to burn in hell forever. I really did.
Today I know he will pay for his sins, but I want to forgive.
Because of that simple dream, I feel peace. I’m still sad. Very sad. But I feel a peace I didn’t feel yesterday.
I know these families will continue to suffer, grieve, question, wonder; they’ll feel anger because they were unjustly jipped out of the chance they should’ve had to raise their precious children. And I will feel some of these same feelings; not to the same degree obviously, but I will grieve with them in my own way.
But what I hope ultimately comes of this is peace and love. Isn’t that what this Christmas season is all about? We celebrate the birth of the Savior, who is The Prince of Peace.
A song comes to my mind:
I heard the bells on Christmas Day,
Their old familiar carols play…
And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
Then peeled the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Join me, won’t you?