I’m not sure how we find joy after the events of last week, but I know that we somehow have to. We must find it even though our hearts are broken.
We have to give ourselves time to mourn when such beautiful, young lives are lost. When teachers, whose only desire was to serve, faced a gun that did not give them a chance to fight back.
There is a time to double over in grief and lament the loss. There is a time to scream to the heavens for an answer. There is a time to rail against such madness.
But anger does not honor the children. Those small beings who are too young and idealistic to believe in a broken world. Who find as much delight in playdough as they do in a falling star. Children who live in the moment and feel God in everything they touch. Children who still believe.
So, how do we learn from the child’s spirit and find joy when 20 of those innocent flames of light are extinguished by another wounded, angry, hostile child?
We find joy in the spirit of the teachers who read them stories, and told them they were loved, and kept them calm even when facing potential death. There is joy in that level of courage and love.
We find joy in the fact that an event like this can show that our collective heart is not as hardened as we are often told through the media. We did not shrug our shoulders when we heard the news. We did not check the latest on the Kardashians.
Instead, we were fixated on the news that was slamming us in the chest. We joined hands through social media and shared our pain, shed our tears, and, together, mourned fiercely the loss of this light. There is joy to be found in the inherent goodness that allows us to feel such grief.
Finally, we remember that these small spirits that left this earth are with their Creator, a Creator who knows only love. They are playing in fields with lions and elephants, they are catching stars and tossing them to teach other, they are laughing and squealing with delight, and they are embraced by a light that is a million times bigger than their own.
And, so, those of us left behind, so burdened by this news, must connect to our own joy. We must remember that the same light that embraces them is inside everyone of us.
We must take action that feeds the light and join together to make this world a better place.
Why must we find our joy? Because we have children here who were left behind, and they deserve a better world.