Waking up this morning to news of the Colorado movie shooting, and seeing a Twitter stream with reports of the massacre in between life going on as usual, my first instinct was to shut the computer down and go back to bed. It’s all so confusing. What do we do now that we live in a world where this just happened? Are we supposed to get up and go to work like we do every day? Do we scream at people, “I don’t care what you’re wearing to the party!”, “This blog post isn’t going to save any lives today!”, “Who cares that your baby slept through the night!”.
Or do we just keep…living?
Despite the feelings of fear and confusion that those of looking in on the devastation have, and as much as we might want to, we can’t just stop. There are tasks that need to get done…a dentist appointment, that back to school post for a client, finalized details for an out of town trip. It all seems so trite and unimportant right now, but those things are our things. They’re what we do. And so we keep moving forward. We keep living.
That’s what’s so magnificent about the human spirit. Even in the shadow of great tragedy and despair, our spirits survive and help us to be. I see it in the way my best friend is putting together the pieces of her life after a devastating miscarriage. It’s clear when I see how my aunt is able to raise 7 amazing children even through the pain of having lost a child years ago. It’s in the way we all, at one time or another, have had to continuing living after life-altering heartbreaks and tragedies. And we’ll see that same strong human spirit, in time, in the community of Aurora, Colorado.
As we work to help our fellow humans move through this tragedy, I want to encourage those of us who have the luxury of continuing on with our normal lives, to be a balm to those who are hurting, rather than salt to already open wounds. Let’s put our self-importance on the back-burner, hold our thoughts about parenting choices and remember that, for an entire community, there is no more life as usual.
Hopefully, those families will find a new normal at some point in their lives. Until then, perhaps we can all add one more task to our daily routines. We can take a second to stop and pray for peace for our country, for Colorado, and for those folks that don’t have the luxury of normal anymore.