There’s this really happy go-lucky part of my personality that really wants things to be sunsets and flowers every day. It’s what makes me more optimistic than pessimistic, what helps me see the glass as half full, and compels me to chases after joy every chance I get. It is also what makes it so hard for me to sit down and talk about difficult topics with my children. I want to brush over the bad and rush to the good, focus on “rejoice with those who rejoice” but leave out the “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Sometimes however, there are hard conversations that must be had, and tears that need to be cried. They can’t be avoided, ignored, or covered with a Band-Aid.
The past few weeks have brought on some of these heavy conversations. Conversations that, If I’m being honest, I wish I didn’t have to have with my children. The first was spurred on after a 4 year-old boy tragically died a few weekends ago in our town. The second came on the heels of the protests in Charlottesville this past weekend. Both were tragedies in their own right; one of an innocent life lost that affected many in our community, the other an indication of the hatred and racism that still exist in our nation.
While there are many great resources out there about how to talk about tragedy, we should find that our response as Christians is different than what the secular world offers. We are called to be Holy, which means set apart, and part of that is looking at tragedy through a Gospel lens. It is a view that is not apologetic about the sin and hurt in the world, but offers a hope and reconciliation that is only possible through Christ. This truth should inform how we process events as adults and in speaking with our children.
This week, consider what it means to look at tragedy through a Gospel focus. In the following weeks, we will consider how that Gospel lens will shape the conversations we have with our children and one another in the wake of tragedy.
Does your response to death and tragedy mirror that of the world? Or is your response marked by the Savior and his work on the cross?