“Hold me close / Let Your love surround me / Bring me near / Draw me to Your side.” – Hillsongs, Power of Your Love
Today began just like any other regular day. I woke up, showered, had my coffee, prepped the lunch bags, woke up my daughter and got her ready for school. This morning I gave her a kiss. I always make sure to give her a kiss. I also make sure to tell her that I love her. I know that she knows I do because when I say to her “I have something to tell you” she responds with “I know, you love me.” It’s a little game that we play, and I’m comforted by it.
It’s Daddy weekend this weekend. Fortunately, I was able to see my daughter after school long enough to give her a big hug. And this time I held onto her a bit longer than I normally would. I didn’t want to let her go and tonight I miss her heaps more than usual.
And that’s because today wasn’t any regular day after all. I’m located about 600 kilometers away from the devastating massacre of the innocent children in Newtown, Connecticut, and I’m having a hard time coping with what happened. I don’t know these people, never met them in my life, and I’m never going to understand what they are going through. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried today just thinking about those poor families who have lost their children, wifes, husbands and parents. And I’ll never understand what drives a person to do such thing. I don’t know. I’ll never know.
But I do know that their lives will never be the same. They will feel an emptiness inside for the rest of their lives. They will question God about what happened, and why their loved one had to die, be taken away from them. They will likely fall into a deep depression, not wanting anyone around, feeling all alone. They will hit rock bottom.
And today when I heard the news, I immediately thought of my daughter, and imagined her in that school and ice-cold fear travelled through my entire body like a lightening bolt. I thought about all the times I kissed her goodbye on a Friday morning on Daddy weekends, and how my heart rips out of my chest every single time because I don’t get to see her again until the following Monday. I thought about how many times I wanted to hold her during those weekends and couldn’t and how I’ve had to settle for phone calls. And then I thought about these poor parents who won’t ever be able to hold their children again, and how they don’t get to have a phone call. They will never hear their voice ever again.
I wish there was something that I could do. I feel helpless. My heart goes out to them, and they are in my prayers. And while they are in their darkest hour, I pray that they never forget that they are not alone. There is someone holding them, loving them and caring for them.
And while I was in my darkest hour, this reminded me that I was never alone. This is what helped me through those long, dark nights: