Nicole Johnson reflects on the truth of our broken world and the need to sit with God in the uncomfortable.
I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to connect the dots from one small, quiet town to another. I don’t want to feel the weight of the “what ifs” or “could bes” as I drive my child to school. I don’t want to find comfort in the obvious presence of law enforcement on campus. I’m tired of the fear, the shock, the questions. I want to remain numb to flood of information about this latest shooting and convince myself it couldn’t happen here.
But there is a mother this morning that didn’t get woken at 5 AM by her early rising, feisty daughter ready to take on a new day. There is a father who didn’t have to put on socks and shoes while Mom filled the backpack with the day's necessities. There is a brother who didn’t have to stop blow-drying his hair and shout, “Goodbye! Have a good day!” to his little sister who demands the consistency of this exchange each and every morning.
There is a family, now countless families, whose entire worlds have been upended. Their normal is gone. And before they can even comprehend a new normal, they have to wade through the soul-crushing weight of each step forward since learning of their loss. They have to somehow find a way to sleep, convince their bodies to accept food and drink, shower and put on clothing. Somehow, they need to find a way to breathe—in and out—every exhale forcing the paralyzing realization that nothing changed with that last breath. Their new reality is simply inescapable. There is nowhere to hide from the pain.
So it is for them that I can not allow myself to look away. On behalf of every one of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, families and friends, I need to invite the pain in and sit in the discomfort that this is my reality too. I live in a broken world. A world inhabited by broken people. A world where the unthinkable is happening—where the miraculous lives of precious and innocent people are being taken—stolen.
When we have the leader of our country invoking the name of God multiple times in his address to our nation and asking every American to pray, the truth that we humans are not enough is undeniable. The charade of our strength and capability without God has to end. We need to invite Him in and ask for His wisdom to pervade the minds and hearts of our elected officials and pray for positive and lasting change.
In everything we do today, from pouring our first cup of coffee to laying our heads on our pillows, we need to invite the uncomfortable in, to think about this day through the lens of our brothers and sisters who are drowning in their grief. God never intended us to live in isolation. We are called to live in solidarity with one another, in our joys and in our sorrows.
One day, one breath, one prayer at a time.
Copyright 2022 Nicole Johnson
About the Author
Nicole and her husband have been blessed with three children. Nicole markets the mission of a non-profit that provides early therapies for children diagnosed with developmental delays. She and her husband serve on the board for the New England chapter of Bethany Christian Services, a national adoption agency. Nicole's family advocates for life, adoption, and embracing children with special needs. Visit her blog at Joy in the Journey.