I Choose Not to Watch the News
Like many, I am reeling from the tragic news out of Connecticut this weekend. It is hard to comprehend that families are living with the reality of what so many of us consider incomprehensible.
I can’t help but think of the horrifying truth that when those babies were born a few short years ago, their parents welcomed and breathed relief at the robust and healthy cries of their newborn. Now, I am haunted by the idea that as those children left this world, their cries went unheard and were replaced by the heart-wrenching sobs of their newly childless parents. It is a horrible juxtaposition. The tears of a tiny, new, healthy baby turned into the tears of the devastated, disbelieving, crushed parent. It haunts me.
I’ve been trying to sort out my feelings about this tragedy all weekend.
I thought I’d read the latest reports to clarify my thoughts before writing but I cannot. To be honest, since the news broke, I haven’t read much. I’ve kept the television off. I cannot bring myself to hear what happened. Every detail I hear makes my heart ache more.
The news does nothing for me. It makes my heart break. It reminds me that I am a helpless to other people’s choices. It reminds me that there is ugliness, brokenness, and evil in this world. It makes me question my choice to bring another child into this world. It reminds me that no matter how fierce my desire to protect my children, I don’t have the power to protect or save them.
The thing that really sickens me about the news is that long after the they quit reporting this story, the families suffering, the town grieving, and all the people hurting will continue to do so. The news will do nothing for them then. It is not just today’s story, it is their lives. It is a national tragedy now, but it will be an everyday tragedy for these families.
I have been on my knees in prayer for the families facing the reality of such a permanent heartbreak. And in those moments of prayer, I remembered that I don’t have the power to save. I don’t have the power to heal, but Christ does. I believe it is my job as a parent to teach my daughters, the one I’m hugging tighter each night and the one growing beneath my heart, to lead Christlike lives.
I am keeping the news off because more important than following the story to me is what I can do to help, as little as it may be. I want to use my time teaching my daughter how to be kind and thoughtful. I want to use my time teaching my daughter that people hurt and it is our job to try and lessen that hurt. I want to use my time to teach my daughter to befriend all, to love all, and to have compassion for all.
It is all too palpable this weekend how short this life can be. This life is all we get. I want to spend it not watching the news of the heartbroken, but helping, and teaching my children to help, the heartbroken.
For more on dealing with the tragedy, visit the following on Parents.com:
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