Tonight felt different.
I noticed the feeling of heartache as soon as my wife walked through the door, holding our ten-month-old son in her arms. Its pain existed as a broken-sweetness hovering through the air while I played with Uriah before dinner.
Eating dinner felt different.
A sudden wave of sadness embodied me as I watched Uriah eat pieces of turkey, pears, broccoli, and bread. Empathy and distant-grief covered the taste of my food, making it difficult to finish my meal.
Rocking Uriah to sleep felt different.
As I read him not one, but two books tonight, I couldn't resist the urge to hold him as tightly as possible. Rather than sitting in silence as I rocked my son to sleep, I prayed over him and for the twenty-one families in Uvalde, Texas who didn't have the luxury I had tonight of spending time with my loved ones.
Tonight was different.
Heavy Words and Broken Hearts
There are no words to horrifically detail a senseless tragedy like this. On 5/24/22, an eighteen-year-old male murdered twenty-one humans at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Those words felt heavy as I typed them. And yet, they are the broken reality for so many individuals who were affected by the violence. How should we respond when are words are heavy and our hearts are broken?
When I don't have the words to say, I turn to the lyrics from one of my favorite songs: Just As I Am by Travis Cottrell...
I come broken, to be mended
I come wounded, to be healed
I come desperate, to be rescued
I come empty, to be filled
I come guilty, to be pardoned
By the blood of Christ the Lamb
And I am welcomed, with open arms
Praise God, just as I am
Open Arm Arrival
I am grateful I don't need to approach the throne of Jesus with strength or with confidence. I can approach the throne broken, desperate, wounded, and empty. I can approach the throne angry, guilty, saddened, and sickened. And I am welcomed with open arms.
As I was driving to church on Sunday processing my most recent sermon on eternity, God placed an image on my heart that I wanted to close with:
Just as God welcomes me with open arms, I shall arrive at His throne with open arms, even if I am broken. In fact, God will honor my broken-open-armed worship and comfort me all the same.
My worship doesn't need to make sense.
My prayers don't need to make sense
My pain doesn't need to make sense.
I refuse to give my pain the power to eradicate my posture.
And so here I am, broken with open arms as I grieve with the twenty-one families who lost their loved ones this week.