Went to see The Hobbit last night. Incredible book. Amazing movie. To be expected. From the music to the cinematography to the dialogue, Peter Jackson and his entire crew truly delivered. And to be honest, it was nice to leave the world. For a brief three hours.
One of my favorite movie quotes was one Hubs and I spoke about on the walk back to the car through the parking lot.
Bilbo Baggins: I have… I have never used a sword in my life.
Gandalf: And I hope you never have to. But if you do, remember this: true courage is about not knowing when to take a life, but when to spare one.
Because like so many of us around the globe, since Friday morning’s tragedy of the slaughter of innocent children and teachers, I’ve had a really difficult time knowing how to process and how to move forward. I can’t even imagine how a parent of any of the twenty children is dealing right now.
Hubby and I lay awake in bed each night since and talk about the events. The parents left behind. The questions they must have. The questions so many are asking. Especially the question, “Why?”
“Why my kid?”
“Why did this guy have a gun?”
“Why didn’t the security system that was recently updated, work?”
“Why those classrooms? Those teachers? The principal too?”
“Why such young kids? They had their whole lives ahead of them.”
“Why such a violent, senseless crime?”
“Why? Why? Why?”
Because there will come a time, when we do need to act. And examine. And determine how, perhaps, things should be handled differently. With gun purchase restrictions. School security systems. Anger management classes. And all the rest of the debates circulating the nations after such an awful tragedy.
But as we talked about how there are so many questions, I felt torn up about the urgency for some people to find the answers. Immediately. Perhaps that’s not the point. Or now is not the time. Perhaps, the hurting just need to ask. To express their pain. To feel free to be angry. Devastated. Confused. And so much more. Perhaps this is the time to simply listen.
And hold. And pray. And love.
Perhaps now is the time to remember that no answers will bring these lives back and nothing is needed more right now than shoulders to cry on. Arms to hold up and hold tightly. And hands to wipe tears.
Perhaps as a nation, as a people, moments like this are not about action, unless we’re referring to the small, daily, acts of love and care that we give unselfishly to those who have lost so much. Because, we can’t replace their children, their loved ones, their sister or their brothers. But we can keep pouring the balm of love into their wounds and not abandon them in their time of deepest sorrow.
In the words of Gandalf from the movie, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small every day deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
As a mother of four girls, one close in age to most of the victims, I cannot imagine what I would have done if I had received that phone call. With the news that her life was taken. Just like that. I cannot imagine.
But I can’t get caught up in my emotions. And my own sadness and fears and worries. Because there are those who aren’t wondering. They know. They’re going through the reality of burying their children. Today. Now. When no parent should ever have to attend their child’s funeral. It’s the wrong order. It’s just wrong.
Again, I lift up those families that are waking up this morning, looking at empty beds, empty seats at the kitchen table, and shoes that will not be tied this day. Oh God of comfort, be with them. As no one else can. Be with each and every one of them. And be with all of us. Who are looking for the wisdom to know when to speak. And when to stay silent. And when to act. And for all of us, for the grace and strength to carry on. This day.
Life is precious.
Today. Love someone. Today.