Little girls, dressed up like a princess, skipping down the sidewalk, as carefree as one could possibly be. Dancing to life. Drinking in the sunshine. That is a beautiful, lovely sight.
However, sometimes there is a lot of ugly.
So ugly our stomachs twist in knots and we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom to compose ourselves before heading back into the tumultuous sea storm of "whys".
It's impossible to completely shield your growing child from the reality of the world we live in. They get to grow up right smack dab in the middle of the good, the bad, and the ugly, just like all of us.
This week has certainly brought a resounding call of why from all over the nation. Kids and "grown-ups" alike have surely asked it, if only to themselves.
The problem is, as such "grown-ups", we are accustomed to answering questions. We get to practice daily.
"What day is it?"
"Where is the moon?"
"How tall am I?"
"Will you take me to...<fill in the blank, parent>"
Sometimes a simple two word answer suppresses the curiosity of a child before they head off in a completely different direction. Other times one answer leads to another question. And another.
This week, a 10 year old beautiful, innocent girl was kidnapped in broad daylight from her own neighborhood by a complete stranger and murdered. My stomach churns just recounting it.
Thinking of that precious girl's family and the unbearable weight of grief they are going through causes much prayer and anguish to rise as incense out of the hearts of many.
The ominous "why" returns. Peeks it's gnarly head out looking to be snatched and locked away. If only we could physically grab hold of it. Contain it. We could have our answer, things would look better?
I am reminded of a time about 12 years ago. I was going through a difficult situation of my own and my husband, who at that time was simply a caring friend, did something I had not experienced before. We were not dating, however, the following experience sealed my heart to his.
The tears were pouring. I shared the pain I was feeling with him, not knowing at that time what I was looking for. As he responded, his words full of compassion, in some strange way dulled the pain, if even just a little.
"I don't know what to say. I have no words. I wish I did, but it is just hard."
So many times, well intentioned people want to bring comfort, heal the hurting. They can tend to think that if they could just "explain the why", they might bring help to those in mourning.
I have read books about, heard discussions on, had others try to explain to me the infamous~ "why bad things happen to good people" and never once has it brought about the intended results.
Sometimes a simple, compassion filled statement from someone who loves us can bring a soothing balm to the open wound:
I don't know. I wish I did. I have no words. It is so hard.
The Scriptures bring such life and put things so simply when we as humans can tend to over complicate things.
Weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15
It is okay not to have the answers. Most of the time, if we are honest and pressed, we do not have an answer anyway.