My tween daughter said something to me last night and it put a giant knot in my heart. She said,
” Mom, kids go to school and get shot. Kids go to school and are killed by a tornado. People go to the movies and are shot. They run a marathon and are bombed. Kids watch a marathon and die. Why?”
My short answer honestly was, “I don’t know.” We went on to talk about it further and here is the gist of the conversation…
The reality is, this sort of thing rarely ever happens. It doesn’t feel that way when news and social media and everything else puts it right smack in your face for days and weeks on end. But honestly, in the big scheme of life, it rarely happens.
Not too long ago, my daughter had talked to her uncle out in California. She was studying earth quakes and she had never experienced one. He said, yup, we have them all the time. She was astonished. The only earthquakes she had heard about were the major devastating ones. I reminded her of that. Her uncle had also gone to school in the mid west and lived high in a dorm and had lived through tornadoes, safely and without loss. I told her that.
I asked her how many days she had gone to school safely… a lot… she said. I reminded her of that. How many times had we gone to the movies safely? I reminded her of that. The Boston Marathon had been run since 1897… That’s a hundred plus times that it was run safely too.
It so easy to sink into fear after massive devastation happens. But that’s not something I want for my children. Unfortunately, a successfully run marathon does not get the same extensive coverage as a bombing. I guess because the every day ordinary successes of people don’t get discussed in the same way. It’s not exciting enough or something. I think that stinks. We need to “look for the good” in the face of tragedy and make it a practice every day so that fear does not take root in our hearts. We need to take the lessons taught by the tragedy and learn and practice them well.
I hope that you do not think that this post in any way tries to diminish the horrific incidents outlined here. The truth is, when they happen, it’s hard to say why. In fact, it’s impossible. We, man, can speculate about the “why” but will never really know. For me, this is when I call on faith.
My heart and prayers go out to all of those affected by recent tragedies, especially today for those in Oklahoma.