We were sitting at lunch the other day. One of my friends made the comment that she was kind of worried about her husband. He had run a marathon earlier that day and should have finished and called or texted her by this time. We laughed and teased her a little – saying he had probably finished first and was celebrating with champagne and beautiful women. Within an hour or so, my friend had gotten a text from her husband letting her know that he was ok. That was about the time we started getting reports of the explosions. He had barely finished the Boston Marathon when the bombings started. I thanked God that my friend’s husband was safe. It was such an unbelievable loss of lives and injuries.
Within days, the news of the fertilizer plant explosion at West came up on my phone. Once again, we were brought to our knees by tragedy.
Yesterday there was a car wreck outside of our town. It was a horrific accident. Four people died. The oldest was twenty-nine years old. Twenty-nine. A young married couple and two college girls. I can’t even imagine what their families are going through. I pray that God somehow give them peace.
It’s hard to make sense of all this and the countless other needless tragedies that I see reported every day on the online news.
Mason doesn’t know about of any these things that have happened. He’s only eleven, and I’m trying to keep him sheltered from bad things as long as I can. And yet, Mason is scared. He has been afraid for as long as I can remember.
When Mason was just a toddler, we lived in an old house with creaky wood floors and Mason was afraid to go down the hallway by himself to his room. I thought it might help him if there was a distraction, so Mason, Taylor Belle and I painted pictures on the walls all the way down the hallway to his room. The pictures were colorful and happy, and Mason loved looking at them. But he was still afraid. He wouldn’t go down the hallway without someone walking with him.
We have lived in an apartment for the last couple of years now. And there are no creaky wood floors. But Mason’s fear has not gone away. In fact, it seems to be worse than ever. I can’t figure it out, and my heart aches for him.
I want to tell him that he doesn’t need to be scared. That nothing bad will happen to him. But I know that’s not true. The truth is that God has promised us that He will always be with us, but He never said that bad things won’t happen.
I want to tell him that there is nothing to worry about. That I will protect him. But I know that’s not true either. Even though I would do absolutely anything and everything within my power to keep him safe, there are some things that I simply have no control over.
So I try to reason with him. I tell him that fear is in our minds. That if he faces his fear head-on, he will see that it will get better. I admit to him that sometimes I get scared too, but that I don’t let that fear keep me from doing what I need to do. I make him go upstairs to his room by himself when it’s time to get his pajamas to take a shower. And then my heart breaks as I watch him rush down the stairs in absolute terror. Real fear. Of what? I just don’t know. I can’t figure it out.
And so I do what any mama would do. I wrap my arms around him and tell him how much I love him. I tell him how proud I am of him for doing it – even though he was afraid. And I lie. I tell him that he doesn’t need to be scared. I tell him that there is nothing to worry about. That I will protect him.
Lives can change in a blink of an eye. I thank God every day for the three children He has blessed me with. And I pray that He watch over them and keep them safe for me. And I pray that He take away Mason’s fear and give him courage.
One of my favorite things to say is that all long as no one has died, things can always get better. And I sill believe that to be true. But sometimes we need things to get better even when someone has died.