Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Today: A Study in Contrast
There are so many senseless, horrible, devastating things that happen in the world. Tragedies are a dime a dozen these days. Sometimes they are private and mourned deeply by a few, sometimes they are broadcast on every channel and watched obsessively by grief stricken masses.
Today, two bombs went off near the finish line of the Boston marathon, killing at least two--one an eight year old child--and wounding over 100 more.
Today, a young father died of complications from a relatively routine surgery, leaving his wife and five young children.
Today, Kate let me put pigtails in her hair for the first time. When Jay got home, we walked to the park in what felt like gale-force winds and gently pushed a nervous Kate in the swing. Later, I carried her up to bed, sang her a lullaby, and blew her kisses. She copied the motion and smiled so big her pacifier almost fell out of her mouth.
Life seems so surreal sometimes. I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful daughter, a nice house, a steady income, a loving family, supportive friends, a happy life. Things are so good right now that I have sporadic moments of consuming anxiety where horrible scenarios flash through my mind involving car crashes, cancer, injury, loss.
I just have to steel myself, take a deep breath, and hold onto this moment. This moment--right now--when I have so much. And I kiss my husband and squeeze my soft baby until she squirms. And I cry when I hear about bombings and blood clots and babies who die before they're born because I know that it could just as well have been me in those situations, that it just as well might be me in the future, because you never really think it will be you or your family, but the fact of the matter is that it is someone and someone's family, and we're all just a bunch of someones and we all take our turn at this giant roulette wheel.
And there is a God up there, but sometimes I think He sits there shaking His head along with the rest of us at the crazy things that happen in this world. I don't think God starts the ball rolling on any of these tragedies, but ours is a God of "in spite ofs" and "neverthelesses" and we have His promise that He's there with us in the stony pit of our grief and in the sunlit valley of our peace. He's there for the good and the bad, the whole roller coaster.
He wept today with those experiencing heart-wrenching loss. He smiled with me today as my little family braved the wind and as I blew kisses to a sleepy baby.
I don't know how that's possible, to celebrate and to mourn with equal sincerity at the same time, but God manages it, and I wonder if, sitting in my peaceful home and looking out at the heartbreak of others through the window of my computer screen, I experienced the smallest part of that today.