It's interesting being on the adult end of a catastrophic event. When 9/11 happened I was still a child; a freshman in high school. I remember trying to work through what this actually meant for our country and why someone would be so cruel.
When I heard about what happened as school ended yesterday and the children I teach were no longer in my care, my heart was shattered. Of course my Facebook feed was flooded with prayers and opinions and others crying out for the same clarity I remember searching for almost 12 years ago. All I could think was how tragic it is that so many innocent people lose their lives in response to the actions of very few wicked.
In times like these people pour out prayers. The ears that hear these prayers are interpreted differently by many people, but for me my prayers for healing and blessing for those affected and those giving up their time and skill to help, true heroes, are also accompanied by a newfound ache for the love of Jesus. He was one innocent who lost His life as an act of love for all of us. In spite of it all, there is still love. If we can care so much and be so deeply moved to pray and feel and grieve for people we didn't even know existed until yesterday- imagine the love God has for those people. Imagine the love God has for you.
It's not easy to be an adult. To have to process emotions as an adult. I looked into the faces of my children today as we fought through another day until summer. Really looked at them today. Some wore purple sticky notes for the people of Boston. Some want to ignore it completely, some don't understand what it all means, and some probably understand it a little too much. There's one thing they all still have in common- an overwhelming desire to be loved. Yes, even the boy who screamed out the four letter 'f' word first thing this morning; as well as the one who caused the outburst.
They just want to feel wrapped in love and acceptance. I try my best to give that to all of them. It's not always in the form of a smile; sometimes it's in the form of a conversation in the hallway- but it still says I care. And I love. Because they just. want. love. Don't we all?
Just love. Feel. If even for just a moment. Let emotion wash over you and enjoy the rush it gives that you. are. alive. And you were created with a purpose. For a purpose.
I love you. Whoever you are reading this. Whatever your story is. I love Jesus with my whole heart and soul and if you love Him too, that tickles me to death. I want everyone to know how incredible it feels to be loved by a Creator and Savior. But I love you even if you don't. Even if you think I'm silly. Even if you don't go to church. Even if you don't believe in anything. Even if you and I don't agree on gay marriage, abortion, the president, which way to put the toilet paper on the roll.
I love you, friend. I mean it.
In the words of Mr. Rogers' mother, let's continue to look for the helpers. And heal.