I wish I could take down all of my Advent reflections from the last week. It’s not that I don’t believe them anymore. It’s that they feel like a slap in the face right now. To those who are grieving, and frightened, and angry, the thought that this is a season of longing for Jesus to come back and make everything right is just too much. At least, it’s too much for me.
Because how exactly is he going to make it alright that someone’s baby – a boy who still slept with his blankie or a girl who thought she was going to grow up to marry a pink pony – how is he going to make it okay that they wet themselves in fear before before they were shot multiple times in the face? And please, if you think you have the answer to that question, keep it to yourself. At least around me.
And remind yourself of these words from King Solomon:
Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day,
or like vinegar poured on a wound,
is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.
I don’t want to hear that you are holding your children tighter tonight – because it makes my heart break for the parents who can’t do that.
I don’t want to hear that you believe our country, or that town, or that family, will emerge from this stronger and better -because that sounds perverse to me right now.
I don’t want to hear a rant about gun control right now – because gun control won’t bring those babies back and I feel like you want to pretend like we can make this all better.
And I don’t want you to tell me not to talk about gun control right now – because guns did kill those babies, and I feel like you are more afraid that you might have to give up something you hold dear than you are about the families who will never get back what they held most dear.
And please, please don’t talk to me about how Jesus came in the dark of night, and this is a reminder of how dark things are and how much we need Jesus – because lives are not reminders. They are lives.
Don’t try to make this make sense. Don’t show me the silver lining. Don’t even point me to the cross right now. You can weep with me, and I’m sure to join you if you want to scream. Or we could just sit and be quiet. And pray for the grace to sit quietly some more. And keep on doing that until we hear from God that it’s okay to do otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong; I still want Jesus to come back. And even in the midst of this horror, I mostly believe that he will. But I don’t want to hear that song today.