hard to find words

I'm still having trouble finding words to share today. So I'm giving myself a reprieve. Tomorrow I will tell you about my weekend, which was lovely. But today I will just share the words of others who put onto "page" what I couldn't find the words for:

Do We Have the Courage to Stop This?
Children ages 5 to 14 in America are 13 times as likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries [...] American schoolchildren are protected by building codes that govern stairways and windows. School buses must meet safety standards, and the bus drivers have to pass tests. Cafeteria food is regulated for safety. The only things we seem lax about are the things most likely to kill.

God Can't Be Kept Out
Or, most recently, you might have heard the rumor from Mike Hucakbee or a friend on Facebook, saying that God abandoned the children at Sandy Hook because, though children have every right to pray in public schools, those schools cannot sponsor prayer events out of deference to religious freedom. When asked where God was on that awful Friday morning, these Christians have said that God did not show up at Sandy Hook because “God is not allowed in public schools,” because “ we have systematically removed God” from that place.

Brothers and sisters, let’s call this one for what it is: bullshit.

God can be wherever God wants to be.
God needs no formal invitation.
We couldn’t “systematically remove” God if we tried.

If the incarnation teaches us anything, it’s that God can be found everywhere: in a cattle trough, on a throne, among the poor, with the sick, on a donkey, in a fishing boat, with the junkie, with the prostitute, with the hypocrite, with the forgotten, in places of power, in places of oppression, in poverty, in wealth, where God’s name is known, where it is unknown, with our friends, with our enemies, in our convictions, in our doubts, in life, in death, at the table, on the cross, and in every kindergarten classroom from Sandy Hook to Shanghai. God cannot be kept out. 

Thinking the Unthinkable
[There has been some question about the authenticity of this blog and blogger, but regardless, its an important article... one that addresses that while gun control regulations need to be undated, we also need to have a very frank and open discussion of mental health issues in this country. And even if this woman and her Michael aren't real, there are thousands who are real. I know an amazing mom with her own Michael. This needs to be a discussion.]
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

[...] We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael.

[...] At the start of seventh grade, Michael was accepted to an accelerated program for highly gifted math and science students. His IQ is off the charts. When he’s in a good mood, he will gladly bend your ear on subjects ranging from Greek mythology to the differences between Einsteinian and Newtonian physics to Doctor Who. He’s in a good mood most of the time. But when he’s not, watch out. And it’s impossible to predict what will set him off. 

Mayim Bialik on Sandy Hook, Faith & God

The details of the unfolding of Sandy Hook have mesmerized me.  [...]the senselessness of this shooting and its victims coupled with the stories coming out of brave teachers hiding children in barricaded classrooms and telling them they are loved so that God forbid if they were killed they would die feeling loved… it’s overwhelmingly furiously tragic.

What I have heard since Friday is a lot of “Why?” and also, its persistent cousin, “Where was God?”

[...] God has a path for all of us, and the path includes free will, and it includes evil, and it includes mental illness, and it includes all of us living on this crazy planet trying to survive and thrive and procreate and make something beautiful from the human condition which is, frankly, very complicated.

[...] The most famous answer to “Where was God?” was given in one of the quintessential books about the Holocaust, Night by Elie Wiesel.

In one of the scenes of the book (which is not autobiography, but is fictionalized memoir), a young angel-faced Jewish boy is hung on the gallows in the center of a concentration camp for the crime of simply being Jewish. Where was God? Wiesel states that God was hanging on the gallows.

[...] God is with us through every tragedy. God hurts when we hurt. God may not have eyes to weep, but God did not create us to kill and maim and gun down. God is here and there and everywhere. Always was, always is, and always will be. Period. God does not get to step in and save who we want saved, even if it’s small children in Sandy Hook who I wish could have been saved. We can’t understand God. That’s why God is God and we are not.

Love to all of you. 

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~ Meegs