He Knows


The day before my 16th birthday two students, armed with weapons and vengeful hearts entered their school intending to kill as many of their peers as possible before turning the guns on themselves. That day the world changed. My world changed.

I was hundreds of miles away from the massacre but I won’t ever forget watching the live footage in our history classroom with Ms. Hansen. All of us shocked at what we were seeing. Most of us tearful for those that had been slain and shocked at the evil a young person, like us, was capable of.

I sat in the same kind of chair with the same kind of desk as the students whose blood was now spilled upon them. I took the same kinds of classes and was the same age and had the same concerns as those that would be buried and mourned by their families and community. It would be a stretch to say that I had survivor’s guilt but I can say that never before this had I really considered my own mortality, the brevity of life and the evil that permeates humanity without the love of Jesus.

Sadly, this act of unspeakable evil would not be the last that would bring me to tears and force me to my knees.

This time, instead of being a student I am a parent.

Once again I am hundred of miles away from the horror. But my heart is breaking. I know the joy those parents felt when they first brought their baby home from the hospital. I know the endless games of patty-cake and twinkle twinkle. First birthdays and trips to the zoo, the wonderment of a snowy day, the fear of a thunderstorm. And if just the thought of my child being among the fallen brings my to a puddle of tears then I really cannot imagine the pain those parents are feeling.

I tried but I could not shield my children from my tears. On Friday we built towers like we normally do and our usual dance party went on as it always does. But mommy’s face was wet. I just couldn’t help it. We smiled and laughed but the stream would not slow. Kai said “mommy sad.” And I said “yes mommy is sad and I need to spend some time with Jesus.” So, like it had been rehearsed, he climbed in my lap and he read through his storybook bible and I read in my grownup bible. It didn’t last long but the act was tender and made me so very grateful that I have another day to store up Gods truth in their hearts.

This tragedy has not touched my life, my family or my community but it has touched my heart and it has stirred up the best in me and the worst. I have held my children more closely, smelt their hair and thanked God for another day I have been blessed with them. I have also been so angry I have wanted to pound my fist against the earth until it cracks beneath my fury.

But that wont help the families of those who were senselessly and violently taken. That wont help those that witnessed the blood and the bullets and the horrors of that day and help them sleep at night. And that wont help a global community who is looking for truth in the madness, light in the darkness, a community who desperately needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

But I can weep with Newtown, as they weep. And I can mourn with them as they mourn. I can silently, from hundreds of miles away, pray for them and ask that God bring them comfort and peace and can somehow draw them closer to Him in this time of unspeakable sadness.

And I can remember that I worship a God whose own son was violently killed before His eyes. He knows the pain of those parents more intimately then I could ever understand.

He knows.

And when I feel overwhelmed by sadness I will remember that He knows and trust that what the enemy intended for evil, God will use for good. I don’t know how. But He does.

He knows.