I have nothing new or original to say about the shooting. But tonight I can’t sleep. Tonight my soul is burdened and the jumbled thoughts need to tumble out. So here they are.
When I heard the news, I was alone in my classroom and I fell to my knees. Because that’s where I always end up when the burden is too heavy, the sorrow too deep.
The words that fell from my lips were, “Jesus, come. We need you now. Let your kingdom come.”
When my soul is heavy with the hurts of the world, this is what I pray.
When the sorrow reaches the marrow and the heart is twisted with grief, this is the hope I cling to: it won’t always be like this. His kingdom WILL come one day. One day He WILL wipe the tears and restore this broken world to what it was intended to be. Oh how I long for that kingdom.
This kingdom has been called an “already, not yet” kingdom. A kingdom that Jesus already ushered in when he came that glorious Christmas day, but has not yet reached fulfillment.
It is a kingdom that has already brought peace to our hearts, but has not yet brought the kind of peace we’re wired for, the kind of peace that puts an end to war and hatred and school shootings and cancer and death.
That is the peace I long for.
That is the kingdom I pray for.
And that is the kingdom those kids are dancing in right now.
Today came as no surprise to God. He saw it coming. In fact, when each child was in the womb, God saw the tragic way their life would end. I don’t claim to know why He allowed it, but I do know this: God loves those children more than we can fathom. He knew their days would be short and even though their families are left behind to mourn and grieve and wail, those kids aren’t crying today.
Those kids are rejoicing in the kingdom we all long for.
And I’m a little jealous.
Today in my homeroom, I showed THIS CASTING CROWN VIDEO of one of my favorite Christmas carols called I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The song was originally a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow shortly after the death of his wife in a tragic fire and the injury of his son in the Civil War.
In the midst of sorrow and tragedy, Longfellow wrote about peace. He wrote about Jesus bringing peace to the earth even when it seems like there is none.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
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 pealed 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.”
Tonight it does seem as if “there is no peace on earth.” It does seem like “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth.”
But Longsfellow saw past the sorrow to the place where God still reigns.
And we can too.
Hallelujah that “God is not dead. Nor doth He sleep.”
Hallelujah that one day “the wrong shall fail and the right will prevail.”
Hallelujah that one day there truly will be peace on earth.
Because one day His kingdom WILL come.
And days like today make me long for it all the more.