A Different Kind of School Tragedy


The deaths in our small community hurt, because in our school family, when one hurts, we all hurt. Like it says in 1 Corinthians 12, we are all members of one body. And this week, we had a piece of that body shorn clean off. And it hurts. My kids are too young to know the young man who died last week driving himself to school. I have never met him or his parents. But his death still gutted me.

The seventeen lost in Florida are complete strangers to me, a thousand miles away. But oh Lord, how I have grieved for them, for their community, for our COUNTRY, for their families and peers.

I am a soft touch. When one hurts, I hurt. It is not easy to feel ALL THE THINGS, to be so emotional, to take it all in.

But I submit that it is far, far better than having a HARD heart, from casting it aside, from thinking “At least it didn’t happen to me,” or worse yet, “It could NEVER happen to me.”

At some point we have to protect our emotions so we can still function for our families. I get that. I have been there. At some point I have to switch it off, walk away, live in the present, and seize the moment with my kids.

But if my empathy, if my grief, if my over-identifying with these grieving parents and friends and siblings can encourage me to take my one precious life and live it MORE intentionally, then I’ll take it. I don’t WANT to not feel. I want to make a difference, at home, in my community, and in our country.

So in these difficult times, I will FEEL. I will CARE. And I will ACT.

It is the only way to bring any sort of beauty from ashes.


Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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