After an historic day in the Cleveland area, I'm still sitting here reeling over what has just happened.
5 students sitting in the comfort and safety of their pre-class cafeteria breakfast time. Just a normal day. Just a normal Monday. In a moment everything changed. A student made a choice that would affect a community, a city, an entire nation.
We sat our oldest down (1st grade) to discuss the event.
I didn't want to but I knew he'd hear about it, accidentally hear it on TV/Radio and just knew it was inevitable. I didn't want thoughts of fear for his own safety to flood his mind and for him to handle that alone.
It brought me back to when Joel's brother was shot. Oct 16, 2005. Everything stopped once that phone call came. I remembered seeing my husband literally bend his body forward as if someone had punched him in the gut. He looked up at me and silently spoke, 'Matt's dead'
Everything changed & all of a sudden our family walked through the process of saying goodbye to someone whose life was purposely sought out and robbed. It's such a horribly thick & messy cluster of emotions to process. A simple 'God's in control' meant nothing to us in that time.....even though He was.
Jude's questions were simple but honest.
"What did this boy's parents say when he did this?"
"What did the teachers do to protect the kids?"
"Why did this happen?"
"How do I know it will not happen at my school?"
Joel and I sat in disbelief that we were even having this talk with our son - this teeny bit of Jude's innocence (among thousands of children) stripped away in a moment. It broke my heart to have this sweet almost 7 yr old walk through a very adult discussion. I knew all we could do would be to talk, be honest, give an open & honest forum to our son(s), and most powerfully....pray.
My heart is grieving for the families who have lost and for those who are walking in shock right now. I am sad for the parents who are now fearing their child climbing back onto that bus in the morning....and my deepest prayer is for God's love & comfort to be so evident and rich. I pray for families to draw closer and that this young man's mind & heart would come to the light & he himself would receive the care & healing he needs....in addition to his consequences.
In a world where things like this happen, it's easy to fall into a place of fear but I truly feel if we can unite, pray 'together' (Heck-maybe even in school for a change), and look out for one another....we can find the good again.