I remember having a “preach it, sister” moment when Nance shared in c-group a few weeks ago about how hard it can be to hold sorrow and joy in tension, not letting one disallow the other.  This has been particularly difficult for me this holiday season - our unrealized baby hopes have squashed my spirit, leaving me frustrated and broken at a time of year usually marked with thankfulness and cheer.  I’ve had a hard time finding the good in the midst so much sadness.  But I resolved last week to turn it around – to hit pause on my wallowing and enjoy a weekend full of Christmas parties and gift-wrapping and soaking in God’s abundant blessings.  I had my Christmas playlist all queued up, my little black dress picked out for the office holiday party, our cupboards stocked with the ingredients for pumpkin bread and my favorite biscotti.

And then Friday morning happened.  I was out shopping at lunchtime when a friend’s Facebook update popped up on my phone – I saw the words “tragedy” and “children” and pulled up the NY Times to check the latest headlines.  Tragedy didn’t even begin to describe it.  I stood there for a minute on the sidewalk, stunned and suddenly feeling very alone among the crowds that were rushing in and out of stores, chatting and smiling and going about life as usual.  I headed back to my office and nearly came unglued as I read the latest breaking details.  27 people dead.  20 of them precious little children.  Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, teachers facing the loss of so much innocent life.  God, where were you?  It’s hard to find His light in the midst of such suffocating darkness.  It’s easy to feel forsaken and lost.  But I can’t, I won’t forget His promise.  I won’t forget the baby that came so long ago to redeem the world, to defeat death and pay for our sins with His suffering and sacrifice.

It still seems awfully dark out there, but as I stumble and search and cry out to Him, a light flickers as He reveals His ultimate goodness.  I see Him in the stories of the courageous and selfless teachers that loved and protected their students.  I see Him in the candles that were lit across the nation as people stood in solidarity with Newtown.  I see Him so vividly in our community of friends, our “Seattle family”.  He was there when we gathered on Saturday night for our sixth annual fondue party, where we ate and laughed and danced and experienced the joy of belonging.  God is indeed good.  Yes, there will be reasons to weep and mourn and question His ultimate plan, but there will also be reasons to dance.  And I think I’m finally seeing those reasons through the blur of my tears.

One Comment

  1. Thomas Eric Ruthford says:

    A beautiful post, especially about the tension. We have to remember that our faith remains true even when King Herod attacks us.