Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
This morning dawned impossibly beautiful. Rather than oppressively hot and muggy the air is cool, the heat washed away by rain. The sun is shining, and the sky is dotted with clouds. It all feels so wrong. It feels so wrong that the morning is fresh and clear when the heart of Texas is completely broken today. When 19 children will never return home again. When two teachers gave their lives doing a job that should never require that kind of sacrifice. When families are forever marked and altered because of the absolute evil that possessed one man yesterday. It feels like it should be heavy . . . gray . . . oppressive on today of all days. But it’s not. It’s unbelievably not.
I don’t have words. I don’t know what to say. I debated writing anything because it’s all too close. We are not far removed from the tragedy of yesterday. In Texas terms, Uvalde is “just down the road”, a little over two hours away. If you’ve ever lived or traveled in Texas, you know that two hours is a day trip. It’s not a random town thousands of miles away. It’s a town, so much like our town. Same size. Same kids. Same teachers. Honestly, the same schools. Only slightly different. Separated by less than 150 miles.
I hugged my second grader goodbye this morning. I told her I loved her as I held back tears. I honestly, thought about keeping her home. But I didn’t. I drove past the schools later. I saw the police cars parked on campuses. I prayed as drove past.
I’ve taught school. I taught fourth grade. I was sitting with my students the day Sandy Hook happened. I have not forgotten the utter despair I felt as the news rolled in that December day.
I am a parent. I send my children off to school each day. The thought of this kind of tragedy crosses my mind every now and again, but I say a prayer and set it aside as most of us do.
The reality is we live in such a broken world. We live in a world filled with sin. We live in a world that needs a Savior. That’s what I know. That’s what I know to share. The political statements . . . the arguments that have already ensued . . . the screaming and the fighting and the battle lines drawn in the sand . . . they’ve already started. As a former educator, and even more so as a parent, I do believe that something has to happen. That something . . . more than one something . . . needs to change. I have my own personal opinions about what should and should not take place on our school campuses, in our homes and families, in our communities, and in our governments. That’s not what I’m speaking to here. It’s neither the time nor the place. Because I also know that at the heart of it, we cannot legislate away evil. Nor will we ever be able to stop evil with more and better security. I am not here to belabor or argue any of those points. We need a heart change. We need a transformation. We need a Savior. We need Jesus. That’s what I know.
I do not believe for a second that prayer is a passive offering that doesn’t do much. I firmly believe that prayer is the MOST actionable thing we can do when faced with such a deep and insurmountable tragedy. I believe prayer absolutely changes things. So I’ll leave it at this. Please pray. Pray for the parents and grandparents . . . the brothers and sisters . . . the spouses and children . . . that will never see or hold their family members again this side of Heaven. Pray for the children and school staff, the first responders and law enforcement, the doctors and the nurses, who are suffering from the unimaginable trauma and heartbreak that yesterday brought. Pray for Uvalde. Pray for Texas. Pray for our nation. Pray. Just Pray.
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3