Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Half ~ Mast
Yesterday, we were drinking in time with our Anderson. Our 5th grader had asked if he could join us on errands ~ just him. We got to watch him save the day for an elderly woman as he lead her to the "Trash Pack" toys for her grandson. We happily joked around the aisles, mostly inside boy jokes with DAD! As we got a coke at a local restaurant I pointed out the flag at half mast for the tragedy at Sandy Hook. As we drove out of the parking lot and started driving around our town, he really clued in to this honor and the understanding of collective grief, especially as he began spotting flags on building after building...and even flying from residences...
We grieved as we drove...speaking about the happenings of the week...and Anderson was feeling as deeply as we were...
We shared that this reminded us of another day. We shared with him of 9/11, when he was just a tiny 5 month old, ...that day when we heard ...and we tore ourselves away from the surreal images on t.v. of the smoke and the ruins...I was with a precious neighbor friend and her baby from next door as the buildings had fallen and now, we could not go our own way...we stayed together, yearning to pour out in grief and prayer...So we made our way that day to the only place that made sense...our church sanctuary...Through piercing grief and heavy shock, feet heavy, vision blurred through tears ... There, at the front of the empty sanctuary room, my dear friend and I bent down to sit on the carpet way in the very front...beyond the pews...almost on the stairs at the front leading up to the pulpit. We placed our babies on little blankets together and scattered toys and pacis over them to busy them while we bent low... and buried our faces in our hands... We made two round circles of tear marks on the red carpet that day as we sobbed into prayer, weeping the trevail of a Mother's heart. The Bible I used that day still has the wrinkles from grief's rain on its pages... Meanwhile little Anderson and his best baby friend drooled up at us, kicking their feet and chewing on their hands...looking out at us through great big eyes... and pulling on hair and clothing damp from tears...They seemed so...serene...unusually "knowing" for their ages ... quiet,...just waiting on the Mommies... And their innocence was ministry as we buried our heads into their little necks and could not help but smile even through our tears over all this preciousness,innocence, and hope...it was the awe and the light in so much sadness...little in stature...priceless in nature and value...We thanked God for Life.
In the weeks to come, all through America, there were flags hanging half mast, signs made by children on the glass windows of doors, dazed and tear-stained neighbors at the grocery store,...and more flags than I had ever seen lining the streets of neighborhoods. We all mourned together. It was powerful. And it was incredibly comforting to know that my family in Washington D.C. as well as in Florida and Delaware were all sharing this time in similar manner...
Now, in the car, Anderson's thoughts, soberly, quietly were on Sandy Hook and the children there, and the families, and we shared about what it may be like to lived through such ordeal and then to be able to SEE such support for you all around you,for YOU and to know this same care was throughout the entirety of the country as well.
"Look, guys, there's another...and another!....Oh, look at that one over there at the church with the Christian flag underneath, and one at the bank...and the apartment community!..."
He sighed, "I hurt for the brothers and the sisters and for the moms and dads...and the grandparents...and the friends too." He turned back to spotting and pointing out flags...still very deep in feeling and thought...
"But Mom, there's something I just don't understand."
Anderson sat forward in his seat, stretching against the seat belt to get closer to us.
"I really just don't understand it."
"Well, you know the other day...when we went and prayed outside that big clinic for God to save those babies?"
"Well, why is there not a flag at half-mast for every one of their lives? I mean...if 3,000 or more babies are dying every day with abortion...then...
I JUST don't get it..." He said really quiet but strong,
"...where is the mourning for them?
Cause there should be flags for them..."
Why is the president not ordering flags for those children, guys?
America needs to do something great like this for them."
He slumped back on his seat, cloudy...counting the flags...