The mall shooting happened not far from our home here in Oregon. These things aren't really supposed to happen close to home, right? One of the persons who died that day lives in the next town over. One I've been to on an number of occasions for doctor's appointment and for frozen yogurt by the lake.
This past Thursday I woke up with a nightmare about one of my most treasured, one of my children. I woke up in a panic gaining my bearings and telling myself it was just a nightmare. That my children are safe. I fell back asleep only to have the same dream haunt me again until I woke up and decided that it was safer if sleep eluded me. The following day, twenty six souls left this earth by someone who had allowed hatred and evil to overcome and harden his heart to a degree that only Satan himself could understand. And it makes you wonder, if evil outweighs the good in this world to a degree that the balance cannot shift back the other way. And yet I am reminded of God's promises that His love is forever for ALL of us. And if I had any concept of the magnitude of God's Love, it is gone now because I do not understand how God loves those with hearts so dark. I remind my children all the time that "God always keeps His promises". I've said it so much that they always repeat back to me when I'm about to say it again. And God has promised us a love that lasts forever no matter what.
Both my boys prayed tonight that God would help them love Him more and that God will comfort the mommies and daddies that lost their children. Jake prayed and asked God to help the children in China find their new moms and dads. And with the prayers of my young boys, I am reminded that God still loves, He still comforts, He still talks with us. I am reminded that there still are some in this world that don't deny a faithful God. Some still follow and seek. Evil hasn't won and won't have a final say.
My heart is still heavy. I drove my daughter to school today with tears in my eyes thinking about the parents who were grieving a loss that I beg God to never give me. It's hard to understand and comprehend. But I'm reminded of my own words through my children's voices when they say that "God always keeps His promises". So we grieve with those families and pray for the comfort and peace that only God can give. Admittedly, I don't understand it, but I don't need to fully comprehend it. I just need to have faith and trust that God will.