My 4-year-old turned on the TV and happened upon today's news coverage of the breaking news at the Aurora, CO Century theater. He wanted to know why someone would shoot and kill people at his Papa's work (my dad is a manager at a movie theater here where we live - Cash doesn't understand this was in another state, only that it was at a theater that looked like his papa's).
When Cale and I decided to have kids ... we agreed to always answer our children's questions as openly and honestly as we possibly can.
Today, I watched another part of my son's innocence go away. Today, I watched my son's face draw a blank (for once) as he realized that not all people are good. That people are scary and uncertain and untrustworthy.
When our babies come into the world, they are born with such innocence. That all the world is good. That they can trust everybody and no one will hurt them. And every day, it seems like something happens that takes that sweet, innocence away from them.
I explained to my confused and questioning 4-year-old that this was an isolated event. I had no choice. He saw the coverage, he had questions, and it's not a subject I wanted to avoid talking to him about. I explained that he doesn't have to be scared to go to his Papa's work to watch a movie. That his Dad and I will keep his safe. The bad guy is caught and he isn't out there anymore. And while I cannot shelter my son ... deep down, I felt like I lied to him. I WANT to protect him from all harm. I DON'T want him to go watch a movie this weekend with his Dad because I can't bare the thought of something happening. But I also know that we have to get back up on our feet.
So we prayed. We prayed for the victims and the families of the victims. For the law enforcement. For the community of Aurora, Co. For everyone affected by this tragedy. And we prayed for the madman. Because he needs God in his life more than anything right now .... not media coverage.
If you are speechless, and need help with prayer - Please don't hesitate to repeat this:
Father, we come to you today asking for healing for those affected. We pray for the families of the victims who have lost their lives. I pray that they knew You during their lifetime, and that they are standing in your glory at this moment. We pray for those injured. Please heal their physical and emotional wounds, and draw them closer to You. Father, we pray for our country as a whole. We NEED you, God. We have strayed too far, and are suffering the consequences. You are the God of love, and without you, there is no REAL love. Father, comfort us, and be with those in Colorado. It is in Jesus' name I pray, Amen