light ever rising

by Amy

i didn’t want to tell them about it.  such a heavy burden for their little hearts and minds to carry.  i didn’t want to scare them or scar them or have them fear the people they are surrounded with.  i didn’t want them to dread stepping in a theatre ever again.  i wanted to make it easy for them.  but then i remembered that, sometimes…easy isn’t the best.

i was reading all these stories.  stories of miracles and heroes and mister rogers.  stories that softened the swirling and the darkness.  i was reading psalms, lots of it’s verses, and feeling comforted with a peace that passes all understanding.  i wanted them to know that even though there is darkeness trying to rise, that it can never win over the light.

so i told them.  over fish sticks and cottage cheese, with a splash of 7up.  i told them what happened in aurora and what happened to so many innocent people.  their eyes got big and they crossed their arms in what could have been somewhere between anger and fear.  they asked questions like “why” and “how did he get in?” and “who does that?”.  i answered as best as i knew how.  i told them that he had evil in his heart that eventually grew until it took over his mind, body and actions.  i told them that there were people like that in the world and that it was a very, very sad day for the people of our country.  but, like mister roger’s mother always said, i told them that there were heroes too.  that there were stories of healing and amazingness too.  that we had to look for those…just like mrs. mister rogers said.

i was honest.  i told them how i felt uncomfortable sharing things like that with them.  that i didn’t want to scare them but that i wanted them to know when big things like this happened.  we talked about how God has a plan for everything.  even these awful things that seem so hopeless…that he even had plans for these moments.  i told them, through tears, the stories of the men who died protecting the women in their lives.  how they did everything they could to keep their girlfriends safe and how they gave up their lives in the end.

my nearly six year old boy interrupted and said “cause that is what God made us to do.  us men haffta protect our women.  we have to fight those guys and protect our women!” as he flexed his muscles and raised his fists.  i whispered words of thanks for a husband who teaches my boys to protect their people.

we talked more than we ate.  when i asked the kids how they thought we could pray for the situation, their words nearly took my breath away.  corbin wanted to pray for the girls who lost their boyfriends.  he wanted to pray for the little kids that got hurt.  he wanted to pray that all the people that died, hoping they were up in heaven right now.

caelan (my big girl) wanted to pray for the gunman.  she wanted to make sure he had all the evil taken from his heart and that he would “get to know God” during this time.  she wanted to make sure he was punished for doing things wrong but that in the end, that he would want Jesus more than he wanted to do bad things.  she shrugged her shoulders at the end of her prayer and said “he needs prayer just like everyone else!”

ethan (he’s three) just wanted to pray for “all the pain”.  he didn’t say for whose pain…but i would love to think that his answer was one of those deep and meaningful things kids do sometimes.  when their answers just blow you away.  when they say something so simple but it has such a deep, underlying meaning.

we prayed and we talked about the girl who survived a bullet through the brain.  we talked about how similar a story it was to their cousin wyatt and how awesome God is to be able to plan something that takes place 22 years into a person’s life.  we wondered what he had planned for each of us and got sidetracked for a bit.

but then we came back.  we read some verses in psalms about darkness.  the ones where it talks of how even the darkest night is like the light of day to God.  i was struck with thoughts of how even the title of the movie fell in place to God’s promises to us.  no matter the level the darkness tries to rise…it just can’t compete.

we talked about how darkness looks in the daytime.  how a shadow can’t overtake the room it is in.  how the shadow of an object always stays the same (meaning it didn’t grow beyond the shape and light combo it was in).  but then how a little flicker of light, when it appears in total darkness, will eventually make more and more visible.  we experimented with it in a dark bathroom.  we were smiles of amazement.

i know that nothing i say can take the pain away from those who are so steeped in the tragedy of this shooting.  but i am so thankful that God has a plan.  that he can use something like this to draw people closer to him.  that there are moments in moments that He reveals himself to us, to my kids, to someone reading a news article and that he takes something so ugly…and uses it for good.

later that night, i watched my three year old run from the darkness of our little forest walk, into the light.  it touched me.  i prayed for him, and all my children to always run to the light.  to never let the darkness rise.  and there was peace.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light – Ephesians 5:8