All things are not good,
Even for those who love the Lord.
It is when we are called to HIS purpose that things really take shape.
Driving across the interstate, heading for home and listening to the news out of Aurora, Colorado, one thought kept coming to my mind.
I am not a sticky sweet Christian. I am not the one whose first response in a tragedy like this is, “God is so good.” I know every cloud has a silver lining–I have lived it–but I also know that clouds bring storms and darkness.
I hear people on the radio talking about “ministering” to those affected by the shooting, and I honestly don’t know what that looks like.
Sometimes I wonder if I know what that word…minister…even means. I am the one who will show up at your house during a hard time and scrub the toilet or wash the floor. If your child was in the movie theater and will never come home, I am the one who will actually say, “What is his favorite outfit?” And if those beloved jeans are in the bottom of the laundry basket, and that is what he should be buried in, I will wash every piece of clothing in your house so that you don’t have to.
Please, Lord, just give me something to do…because I know I cannot (with a shred of dignity or sincerity) say, “I know what you are going through.”
But not too far from Aurora, in the town of Littleton, is a group of people. They are older, hopefully wiser, seasoned with time and peppered with grace who can look victims in the eye and say, “I know how you feel.”
The words would have power, because the words would be real. Soul-real; heart wrenchingly real words born out of horror, pain and time.
Over the years since Columbine, I have often thought about and prayed for Dylan Kleybold’s mother. She threw birthday parties for her son, watched him at sporting events and wanted his life to be full of promise. It all came short on the day he took his own life and the lives of many others.
Sometimes good parents have kids who do horrific things.
Today I imagine Dylan’s mom waiting at the airport to pick up the mom of this new young man, the man who committed these atrocities, because Dylan’s mom may be one of very few people whose sympathy would feel sincere.
She could look James Holmes’ mom in the eye and say, “I know just how you feel.”
That is Romans 8:28. Sometimes, when we least expect it, God can use the deepest wound and darkest pain of our life to bring light to others…if only a glimmer.
Even just to say, “I survived and you can too.”
Everyone has a story. The stories only matter when they are used to make HIStory…how God works in the hard times. How God works in the good times.
Share your story. Give others the grace to share their story with you.
We are heartbroken and prayerful for the families in Aurora, and we are counting our blessings. YOU are one of them.