Holding Fast to What is Beautiful in a Time of Sorrow
The massacre at Virginia Tech on April 16 wants our silence. Indeed, it is right that we turn our hearts in silent prayer to all who suffer directly from that mass murder.
But how do we now affirm the sanctity life?
I have been advised that the best way to navigate a time of sorrow such as this one as we face the murder of 32 people and the suicide of their killer is to set our course by the beautiful. I had a hard time doing that today. I found myself turning this way and that without success. My inability to do this frightened me. Surely, there must be something beautiful?
So I closed my eyes for a few minutes and my mind returned to my daughter this morning. She camped out on her bedroom floor last night, and this morning I found her lying in a sea of blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows reading a novel. The heat purred through the vent, daylight sifted through her blinds, and she fingered her baby blanket. My father's mother made it for her in the mid-1970s, when she was diagnosed with cancer. She thought she would die soon thereafter and wanted to leave something behind for the next generation. For 8 1/2 years, Della has slept with this little blanket and worked a little hole in the corner.
The quiet morning, the blanket--a gift of love from a woman long gone--and its slowly growing hole reminded me that no pain lasts forever, all things change, and there is peace in the change. Someday, that blanket will be nothing. But it will have been. Indeed, it will have been a message of love and peace and forever from one world to this one to the next. The peace will come.