Being Held in the Midst of Tragedy


I originally wrote this journal entry 2 years ago when a mother in New York had her children murdered by their nanny.  I’m resurrecting it again as I’ve been reading this week about Ryan Saldana, the adorable 3 year old boy with wild red hair, who was killed by a truck.  My heart goes out to his parents.  I’ve felt the same sadness for them as I did for Marina two years ago, and it has made me hold my boys a little tighter and appreciate the preciousness and fragility of life.  May God hold this family tenderly in the palm of his hands.  #redballoonsforryan

I’ve found myself sobbing numerous times this week, as my thoughts have turned repeatedly to Marina Krim, the mother who lost her two precious children in New York last Thursday. It is every mother’s worst nightmare – the unexpected loss of a child. The viciousness of the attack and inability to come up with a motive make this mother’s loss especially tragic. Yet, any mother who has lost a child for any reason knows the depth of her pain.

I don’t know her of course, yet I empathize with her in a deep and profound way, because there are moments when I’ve dared imagine myself in that position. What would I do if I ever lost one of my two little boys? Whenever that fleeting thought has entered my mind, I’ve pushed it away quickly, for the feelings of loss and terror come so deep, dark and disturbing that I taste an anguish I don’t know how I would ever survive. And now that is her reality. And my heart aches for her, because she must find her footing in a new life that I can only imagine seems unbearable right now.

There are no words that suffice in a situation like this.  There are only questions.  I don’t know if Mrs. Krim believes in God, but if she does, or maybe even if she doesn’t, I can imagine she would be asking, “Why, God? Why?”

When I ask myself that question, I have no answer. I’ve come to the acceptance and belief that there are mysteries about this life and how God works that we will never understand. I do believe with all my heart that God is a good God. When a tragedy like this happens, I picture God looking down at his dearly loved children who are in pain, with tears streaming down his cheeks.

This afternoon it was my cheeks that were wet with tears as I relaxed in a bubble bath, after a particularly stressful day. As I soaked in my bubbles, listening to Janga on my iphone, a song by Natalie Grant came on, called “Held.” I’ve heard it many times before and always thought it was so beautiful, but it held new meaning to me today, as I thought of Marina Krim {Ryan’s parents}. I shed tears of sorrow, and tears of hope, as I listened to these words…

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell
We’d be held

That’s the beauty of the hope we have with God. Faith in God doesn’t mean the prevention of all bad things from happening or an explanation for why, but that when they do, we are “held” by God – we have hope in something greater than this life. Honestly, with all the tragedy and loss we experience in this earthly realm, I don’t know how I’d survive without that “greater hope,” and the knowledge that He is holding me in the palm of his hand.

I’ve “held” my boys a little tighter this week. We’ve cuddled together in bed, praying for Marina and Kevin Krim {the Saldanas} and all the moms and dads who have lost children, and for all the little ones in this world who are hungry, hurting or unloved. I’ve realized anew the preciousness of each and every moment I have with my boys. The ONLY thing that we can be 100% certain of in this world is THIS VERY MOMENT.

Make the most of it.



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