Tuesday, April 16, 2013

even this

I can't even express how overwhelmingly sad I have been since yesterday afternoon. I've been walking around in this haze of numbness and bitterness and snapping at my husband and ignoring my dog and just generally feeling sad yet having nothing productive to do with it. And I don't want to feel better or get over it because you know what? What happened in Boston SUCKS. And I wasn't there, and I don't personally really know anyone who was, and it's not like woe is me, this is all about me, I am so effected. I'm not. But like any other living, breathing person with a soul, those explosions rocked me to my core and I am angry and so, so sad for everyone whose lives have been ruined by this. And when tragedies like this strike, it seems like we don't know what to do-- to mourn, or to try to move on? To bask in the grief and the sadness, or to fight for optimism and try to find silver linings? 

When I try to pray, I don't get any farther than Jesus, please...

And every time it stops there, because I can't go on. I don't know what to say, I don't know what to request. It's just too much. Jesus, please is all I have. 

And in the midst of Jesus, please, I remember this:

"The LORD says, 'I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts...'" (Joel 2:25 NLT)

And I know I wrote a lot about this a few weeks ago, and I know I meant it, but I don't want to remember it now. I don't want my faith to be drummed up, I don't want to offer some fake, cheery hope to people who are missing their friends, their limbs, their children. Right now, even the hope of redemption can feel a little bit callous. Like it somehow insults the valid feelings of grief and loss right now. 

And so I try to ignore the quiet voice promising to redeem even this. The promise that even this is not beyond restoration...somehow. In some way. 

It doesn't seem possible...that there could be any sort of redemption to come from this. What would be nice, I inform God, is if you could maybe just give these folks back their loved ones. Or their limbs. I'm pretty sure that's all they really want...not some grand promise of a someday redemption.

I love how I can just tell God how best to run the world. I'm sure he really values my input. And as soon as I finish telling him what's up, I lose my bravery once again and it's just Jesus, please.

And again He says:
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten..." (Joel 2:25 NIV)

Even this. Even now. Even when we're too broken, too angry, too sad to want to hear it. Even still, He promises to redeem.

Boston, my heart breaks for you. In the depths of my sorrow, I know that I can't even begin to understand what it's like for you right now. And there's nothing like some girl who has no idea what it's like to go through this coming and offering promises of redemption, but here I am. I pray Jesus, please and He whispers back that even this He will redeem. I don't know what it will look like, but I wait with you in expectation and hope, even as today I cry. Jesus, come.


  1. I've seen some pretty sad situations at work and in most cases it's just bad luck (cancer). So, what really angers me is the senselessness of this tragedy. If your loved one gets sick then you get mad, angry and ask the why questions! When someone else hurts your loved one it's a whole different type of mad, angry and why. As a nurse I cannot imagine what I would say to them...I'm sorry some jerk decided to blow off your leg! Really?! Ugh! It's just wrong on so many levels!
    Guess I'm as irritated and frustrated as you...might explain why I slept so poorly last night :(

  2. It is so reassuring that God hears our wordless prayers and groanings when something like this happens.

  3. What a beautiful sentiment. Sometimes when there are no words, "Jesus, please..." is all you need.

  4. I agree with the person right above me. Sometimes all you need is "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

  5. This is SO well said. Thank you.

  6. I think one of the awful things about tragedies like this is exactly what you said--not knowing what to say, how to react, how to pray. I remember the night of the shooting at Northern Illinois University (my alma mater--where my husband and I met), I just sat in front of the television and cried because there was nothing else to do. I did it again when Newtown happend. I did it again last night.
    I take great comfort that Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit intecedes with groanings too deep for words. Because sometimes, there just aren't any words. Hugs to you today.

  7. And we know that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him... trusting that today!

  8. Great post Erika. And that promise is what keeps a lot of us going.

  9. Even if you can't make it past "Jesus, please..." He knows what is in your heart, in ALL of our hearts.

  10. Beautiful.

    Thankful for this promise today:

    "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26

  11. So well said, Erika. One of my best friends ran the Boston Marathon yesterday and when I texted her to make sure she was okay, she wrote back saying she was. Her text ended with "Jesus, have mercy." And that has become my mantra ever since. Jesus, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

  12. As I'm sure it's sad everywhere - it's so sad here in Boston. It's certainly something that shakes you no matter where you live. I was just saying today, that when something like this (or when anything tragically sad) happens, you feel guilty the next day that you wake up and YOUR life goes on. I felt lucky this morning just being able to live, with all of my limbs, knowing that many didn't have that luxury as they awoke this morning :(

  13. So very well written. My heart is so heavy for the city of Boston.

  14. Thank you for writing this thoughtful post. It really resonates with where I'm at right now, and so many others as well. Thankful that God is our healer and He will redeem this mess.

  15. I've taught my children that sometimes when they don't know what to say, or they are scared, or flustered or whatever, that ALL they have to do is say His name. "JESUS!" He knows.

    Between the Marathon and the Gosnell trial, I've not been myself either. I had to turn it all off. I tortured myself watching 9/11 footage for too long. I did reach out to some friends and make sure they were all accounted for. The Richmond Marathon was this past Saturday.. so it just hit close to home. :/

  16. THis is so well put and lovely. There has been so much ugliness lately.

  17. Amen. Beautiful words my friend, true and honest words of grief and doubt, words of what we are all feeling today and yesterday, and it seems more and more.

    Our friend was in a horrible accident and at one point, had a car hurtling towards him as he crouched behind a desk. He said that when he ducked down, all he could think to cry was "Come quickly, Lord Jesus!"

    Now, when I see something like this, or read about Gosnell, or think back to Newtown, all I can think is "Come quickly, Lord Jesus."

  18. Wow. So beautifully written. You TRULY have a gift with words!


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