ShootingI just turned the TV off.  I had to.  I’ve been listening to news coverage of the shooting in Virginia for the last couple of hours, and my heart can’t take it anymore.  I think, with horror, of the families who can’t turn it off by simply flipping a TV switch.  They’re living it now. 

I use the word "safe" a lot with my kids.  It’s a powerful word, loaded with meaning, and it communicates deeply how I want my kids to feel.  "You’re safe," I whisper into Joseph’s forehead when I kiss him after a bad dream.  "You’re safe," I remind Adam after a nasty tumble on his bike.  And I know, in my heart of hearts, that it’s probably not true. 

They’re not safe, really.  They live in a fallen world, a world where horrible things happen.  And despite my most vigilant efforts, I can’t keep them from all harm.  It’s a powerless feeling.

As soon as I finish typing this, I’ll head out to my front porch and wait for my kids to get off the bus.  They’ll hop off in an explosion of backpacks and jackets, noisy and hungry.  I’ll watch from my porch and breathe the sigh of relief I every day, when I see them safely home again.  But my sigh will be sadder today, and a little longer. 

Once again, the news of the day finds me coping by retreating to the only place I can–back to the will of a Father whose ways I don’t pretend to understand.  A Father whose name is, no doubt, being cried in anguish by some parents today.  And all I know to do is to pray that He pours out His comfort to them.

I know you join me in praying for them too.

photo by Alan Kim / The Roanoke Times via AP

33 thoughts on “Safe?

  1. Melessa says:

    I don’t mean to be an ostrich, but we missed this story at work today (we were outside all day, I have a great job) and I only found it when I checked my email after I picked the kids up from school. I won’t be turning the TV on aside from the mandatory Pokemon viewing at 4:00 until after the kids go to bed. And even then, I doubt I’ll do much more than catch any updates to what has happened and see the weather. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s more that I care too much.

  2. Military Mommy says:

    Shocking and heartbreaking. I wish there was something we could do to make the world safer for our children, but like you I understand that it will never be safe and cling on to the only person that can give us peace in such a situation.

  3. Kara says:

    Holy cow, I hadn’t seen the news today so this was the first I heard of the shootings. I also wish I could keep my kids safe from the world, there are so many horrible things going on. My prayers are with the friends and family’s affected by the shooting.

  4. mopsy says:

    There is no such thing as “safe” this side of heaven.
    The families of the victims and the gunman are in my prayers—especially the gunman. Imagine not only losing a child, but knowing your child was responsible for the grusome deaths of dozens of innocent people. It’s beyond comprehension any way you look at it.

  5. Cindy says:

    I just heard about it on the radio. I am so glad that I wasn’t home as I most likely would have had the tele on all day watching… My heart goes out to all the victims and their families…

  6. dcrmom says:

    It’s incomprehensible, isn’t it? That’s (was) my backyard. I grew up 25 minutes from VA Tech, and half my high school friends went to college there. I just can’t believe that happened so close to “home”. I can’t believe it happened anywhere. I want to ask God why, and yet, I know he never promised a sinless world. Sigh…

  7. Margaret says:

    I have said more prayers today than i have in a long, long while. As soon as I heard. As soon as updates came in. In my car driving home listening to the radio. As I turned on the news. I just had to turn it off myself. I can’t listen anymore for a while.

  8. Roy says:

    As I scrolled thru the comments I thought about degrees of connection. How directly am I connected to VPI, I who grew up in S Cal? My wife’s brother in law was graduated from there. 2 degrees. Sort of makes the awfulness more personaly awful.
    Then, continuing scrolling, I noticed ‘something to think about’ in the left margin, that staggering, blood soaked statistic that just clocks upward. I realized that where I live, not a small town, but only a small city, not a big one, each week more kids are legally sliced and diced than were illegally shot in Blacksburg today.
    May God grant repentance to me for my prayerlessness, my lack of pleading for my country.

  9. julie says:

    My first thoughts upon hearing the news were for the parents of students at the school, perhaps living thousands of miles away, hearing the same news broadcast I was and knowing there was nothing they could do to protect their child.
    I can only imagine their agony. I am praying for them also.

  10. Melanie says:

    I am just now watching it and trying to catch up. Little one is asleep in her bed, safe for now. I cannot even begin to try to understand what those parents are going through tonight. Today must have been the longest day of their lives. May God cover them in His Peace.

  11. The Preacher's Wife says:

    Ditto seems like such a cold word, but the only one I’m coming up with right now.
    Lives can change forever in a moment, a flash, an instant. We have to trust the Father with the tiniest measure of time to truly be able to embrace eternity.
    Praying for these families that they will be able to look past the momentary into the everlasting.

  12. Leticia says:

    Let perpetual light shine upon them, may their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, in the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

  13. Leticia says:

    Let perpetual light shine upon them, may their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, in the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

  14. Ellen B. says:

    I think this is from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe;
    “God is not safe, but he is good.” something like that. Mrs or Mr Beaver says it.
    Praying with you all…

  15. Ellen B. says:

    By the way in a previous comment I quoted wrong …”Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? who said anything about being safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” Anyway wanted to quote correctly.

  16. Susan says:

    I have definitely been hugging and smooching on my kids a lot since yesterday. I’ve spoken to my nephew a dozen times and IM’d even more. He is a freshman at VT. He was locked in a classroom (NOT in the engineering building) most of the day but has gone home to Roanoke (to my hysterical sister and BIL who can’t stop hugging him and can’t stop crying). Heck…I can’t stop crying either. Being a parent and thinking of the parents that will never hug and kiss their child this side of Heaven. My heart goes out to the parent of the shooter, too. They live about 20 minutes from where I do. Their hearts are breaking, too.

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