A Long December

biscuits 006

My boys sleep in this morning and I press my nose to the dining room floor…roll over on my back and stare up at the Christmas tree. I don’t know how to pray about this shedding of innocent blood.

I know what I should say. But God knows the landscape of my heart better than I do myself and instead of words I just let Him hold me gently.
My pastor sent out a heartbreaking prayer and there are words and scriptures and comfort offered all over the internet. But on the day that schoolchildren were senselessly gunned down in their classroom in Connecticut, I went to pick up my son at his school and the front door was propped wide open.
I keep seeing that door in my mind and I want to swing it shut. I want to flip up that doorstop with my toe and hear the satisfying sound of the lock catch.
I know that’s not the way to live so I get up and make homemade biscuits instead. But I cry softly as I run my fingers through the flour—rolling bits of shortening into crumbling flakes. Yesterday, as we drove to his appointment, Teddy and I listened to the news…tried to understand. After a time, he gently turned the dial, plugged in his iPod, and played this song for me. It made no sense except for the title and how the empty feel of the melody gave me permission to cry.

He was quiet as tears slid down his mother’s cheeks.

Do not be ashamed of the tears, I told him. Love is strong enough to bear the pain.
Music is a thin skein over grief and we weep with those who weep today.


  1. Dawn Paoletta says

    yeah…all that. Sick with it. Tears and speechlessness, words all swirling in my belly and too nauseous with sadness to find the power to pray, Laura. I don’t bake but maybe I should?

  2. says

    I’m not much of a baker either, Dawn, but Alton Brown has an amazing recipe. It felt good to get my hands sticky and even better to watch my soon-to-be 14 year old slather on the grape jelly. Celebrating little things today.

  3. kingfisher says

    Max Lucado sent out a a touching Christmas prayer about Jesus being born in the dark night, in a darkened world.

    We can’t be ostriches and bury our heads as if there were no ugliness in the world. We need to know what’s going on. So we can be prepared to walk in the light even in the midst of darkness. So we can pray. But neither can we pretend all is well and life is all “eat, drink, and be merry.” I’m glad your heart is tender enough to weep with the grieving and rejoice with the joyful, and to feed your boys with biscuits stirred through with love.

  4. says

    What a wise son. Pastor Scotty Smith wrote two apt prayers on his “Heavenward” blog at The Gospel Coalition. They said what I had not words to say. It’s just beyond understanding.

  5. kendal says

    it’s been more than i can stand, the news….music, reading, baking what i turn to when i need to shut out the sad. but so many don’t have the luxury to turn from it. and so i carry guilt. and i don;t know what to do but sigh and allow the spirit to interpret the depth of my heart….

  6. says

    I need to check those prayers out, C, thanks for pointing me there. This is one of those times when being here for each other is hard medicine. Praying with you for the hurting.

  7. amyscanderson says

    the permission to cry is a great gift, especially now. So thankful that Love is strong enough to bear the pain. well put, friend.

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