I’ve been glum and off-balance and snappish and restless for no logical reason today. Except part way through the day, after pushing away the feelings a hundred times, I realized I did know why. My heart won’t quit aching for the loss that Steven Curtis Chapman and his family are facing. Maybe it is not terribly logical that I should be so very shaken up by something that happened to someone I mostly just know on the airwaves. But it is more personal than that.
You see, I have a five year old daughter too, as well as a son whom just yesterday got signed up for driver’s ed.
We have a driveway that the kids all play in. At the edge of it, about 8 feet back from the road, I’ve painted a line in white spray paint beyond which the little ones aren’t allowed to go. Drivers routinely check the driveway before backing out of the garage, then call out a warning to all children around. All the kids routinely go stand in the grass anytime there is a moving car in the driveway. Everything we can think of, we’ve done.
And yet still I know there are no guarantees. Still I know that terrible things can happen even with the best intentions and many safety precautions. A moment is all it takes. I am shaken and sad and so very aware of the gossamer nature of the thread we call life.
I am hugging my little ones more today. Feeling glad when I have each one accounted for.
Feeling grateful that I know there is hope for the future, and grateful that the Chapmans also have the promise and the knowledge that they will see their little one in heaven again someday.
But I also wish from the bottom of my heart that they could have her alive and well in their arms right now. To watch her grow up and have a normal life.
Just like I long to do with my own precious ones in the years that come.
And so I sit here in a swirl of emotions. Tenderness and gratitude and anger (Why, God, why?) and fear (please let my children live) and (YES!) faith and a wretched and overwhelming sadness for the loss that this family is facing.
Today, at least, there is no escape for me from the swirling cauldron of emotions.
And so I will pray.