“Dreams and aspirations motivate us. They give us focus and fuel to move forward. But what happens when those dreams and aspirations are crushed by an excruciating loss beyond our control? An unwanted divorce? Losing a child? Losing a spouse? I don’t know which is the hardest; I suppose it is the one that you are going through at the time.”

I wrote those words in a previous post. My most challenging loss was losing Jasmine, but I could not discount the loss of another as being any less excruciating.

At 10:00 am on Tuesday morning, my 5-year-old granddaughter, Emily, had her kindergarten graduation at Acton Elementary School in Granbury, TX. At the same time, 308 miles away in Uvalde, TX, the 4th grade class at Robb Elementary School held their awards ceremony. Both were joyous occasions, celebrating the children’s accomplishments and affirming their unencumbered dreams.

Two hours later, an 18-year-old killed 19 children and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School. I cannot fathom the pain and shock that those 21 families are going through, and the pain that runs through the close community of 16,000. As I gather more information about the tragedy that day, I am genuinely at a loss for words. My own personal loss has made me more sensitive to the losses of others, but even then, to say to those parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, or even the husbands, “I know how you feel,” would be disingenuous because I do not. I cannot imagine . . .


Amid the grief and sorrow, there are so many questions but no simple answers. Are there Scriptures that offer comfort and peace? Yes, absolutely! But even with Scriptures, timing is crucial. The Bible itself says, “There is a time for everything” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Some may disagree with me, but this is not a time to be quoting Scriptures to the victims’ loved ones. It is a time to heed Paul’s instructions to “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). There is a ministry of words and a ministry of presence—of just “being there.” Most of us cannot be there, but we can pray for those who are, like the chaplains and pastors who God has positioned to be Jesus’ arms to hug those whose hearts are shattered into a million pieces.

Can He heal the broken hearts? Yes, He can. Can He put the shattered pieces back together? Yes, He can, and that will take time. But the heart will never be the same. There will be scars, like the scars on Jesus’ hands, reminders of the cruelty that He suffered because of love so that others may live. The scars on our hearts are reminders of our deep loss, but remind us to love the ones whom God has placed in our lives.

The pain does not feel like love right now, but God is working amid the suffering. For now, we pray knowing and believing that,

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

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