Tonight we lay on the couch watching a movie. I got up for a bathroom break, and when I came back my husband had just gotten off the phone with his mom. He quietly tells me he's glad he didn't go out, a boy was killed in a car crash near our house tonight. And we go back to watching the movie. We lie on the couch watching a dramatized story while somewhere a mother and father cry. A family in the pain of loss because of slick spots on that very road that my family traveled earlier today. As I stare blankly at that glowing tv screen I feel tears roll down my face as I know that for that family life will never be the same. My husband had mentioned he thought they were maybe going too fast. Does the one who was driving now feel guilt and self blame tearing at them while they mourn? And in our neighborhood and our home life moves on as before. I pray their community comes around them in support as they learn of this tragedy.
A pause, as I'm finally brave enough to go read the local news online.
It seems it was in the afternoon before we were even there today, and the other vehicle involved was the one that hit that poor family, and the boy was two. I ponder why knowing his age makes it seem worse. Maybe because my own children are so close in age? I fear for them, this boy was most likely in his safe car seat just as my children ride. I fear for his parents, will they be bitter and angry, turn from God? I pray they instead walk closely with God in this time. Such tragedy so close, and yet life moves on as before, flowing around this hurting family.
I'm brought to tears for this poor hurting family. God had a plan tonight but it might be long and hard before they can see it. Grief can be such a marathon, so hard hitting and unexpected, so exhausting. It brings up questions, why God do the little children have to leave us so soon? What is the point of me sitting safe in my house with my family while tragedy tears another family?
Just across the river, every Wednesday tragedy reaches so many families and lost, uncertain mothers. But these families and mothers, though their babies are only two years younger than the poor boy lost today, do not get community support in their grief. They are even looked down upon by many for grieving. Because they made their 'choice' that is considered somehow legal, support will be hard to find when they have their regrets and are torn with grief. So many of God's little children leaving so soon. This is why I'm there when I can be on Wednesdays. Standing on the sidewalk from 98°F to -10°F. Hoping to be the community support to those who need it and find none. Hoping to tell them that someone still cares, that there are helpful ministries like Project Rachel. Sometimes praying, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, and sometimes losing control over the flood of tears I hold in my heart for those who's grief takes them far from God.
Will you support those grieving, whatever their story?
I pray God's strength fills us with the love to reach those lives he calls us to.