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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Finding Words

I am still searching.  I am still struggling to find words.  I type and delete.  I save and close.  I cannot seem to form any coherent sentences.  I can't seem to make anything remotely sensible come out of these fingers.  Certainly nothing that I deem worthy enough to push me toward the  "publish" button.

I have heard it so many, many times over the past few days:  There are no words.  I believe that to be true.  There are no words to explain.  There are no words to justify.  There are no words adequate for tragedy like this. 

Words have always brought me calm and comfort, whether I am writing them or reading them, sharing them or saving them.  And though there are no perfect words, there are some that have brought me a least a small measure of reassurance in the past week.  Not surprisingly, most of them come from my Bible.  They don't call it the Word, for nothing, do they?  I have found some solace from music, some from the words of bloggers whose talent astounds me and some from the words of the Pastor I look to each Sunday morning.  I even found some in the words of a teenage "greaser" named Johnny as I finished reading S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders to Joe and Kyle last night.  Perhaps some of the greatest encouragement I have felt comes just from listening to the innocent, mundane, one-sided conversations that I have with Drew as we have come home from school each day this week. (The one side = his side.  Just sayin')

I thought the best way to wade back into writing my words would be to relay the words of others that I have found helpful this week.  I have jotted them on grocery lists and on post-it notes, on a chalkboard in my kitchen and in the margins of a spiral notebook.  I am hopeful that in sharing the words of others and especially the words of our grieving and merciful God, we might find some hint of the peace which we surely won't fully feel for quite some time.

My mother and I talk on the phone all the time.  The first time we spoke after last Friday, we, very uncharacteristically, didn't have much to say.  She pointed me to the following verses from Romans:

"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 with groans that words cannot express." - Romans 8:26

"I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us." - Romans 8:18

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves . . . Share with God's people who are in need.  Practice hospitality." Romans 12: 10;13

"We lift up those who don't just simply talk about the darkness, but make it their business to shine light into the darkness.  Christianity is well aware of how broken and hurting this world is and always has been.  But we are not satisfied with simply naming or cursing the darkness.  We are called to shine light into it."  - Pastor Chris Riedel, Arcola Methodist Church

"I know that this is not our home.  I know there is a God in heaven who is good and faithful and true even when nothing makes sense.  And I know that we live in a fallen world filled with sorrow and tragedy and madmen capable of terrible things.  I know that there is no better time than Christmas to remember that God sent His son into the world to save us all from darkness and sin and certain death.  And that 2000 years ago, the cry of a baby was a holy roar letting evil forever know that weeping may last for a night, but joy will come in the morning."  - from This blogger who makes me laugh all the time.  This time her words brought perspective and hope.  (P.S. Aggie friends, for some serious joy, read her post on the A&M win over Alabama.)

I am waiting in a silent prayer. 
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now.  Be with me now.
Breath of Heaven, hold me together
Be forever with me.  Breath of Heaven.
Breath of Heaven. lighten my darkness
Pour over me Your holiness, 'cause You are holy.
Breath of Heaven
-Amy Grant

". . . you're gold when you're a kid, like green. When you're a kid everything's new, dawn.  It's just when you get used to everything that it's day.  Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony.  That's gold.  Keep that way, it's a good way to  be.  I want you to tell Dally to look at one.  He'll probably think you're crazy, but ask for me.  I don't think he's ever really seen one . . .there's still lots of good in the world.  Tell Dally.  I don't think he knows." - Johnny Cade, The Outsiders

"I played Batman at recess well really I wasn't Batman 'cause Adam was Batman and I was Robin and Neela was Catwoman and Calla was a dragon then we switched and we played football and I'm all time quatahback oh and I got the AWESOMEST book about the NFL and you won't believe it 'cause your favorite Troy Aikman is in there can I play XBOX  after homework since it's rainy or I guess it's not reawee rainy but it's cold and gwoomy and didya buy me new shoes 'cause look at my laces they're all messed up." - Drew Skinner, who by all accounts, is staying gold.

Also, this article is beautiful and reminded me of this verse which my family and I are waking up to every morning.

I believe that goodness will overcome evil, in fact, I think we have seen it happening every day since last Friday.  We've witnessed millions of acts of goodness, some small and some large, which have brought light into our dark world.  So . . . one more from Ralph Waldo Emerson via my friend Megan:

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars"

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