There’s been another shooting.
Our town collectively shakes and shudders.
Memories from a Monday in mid-December
wag their fingers in the faces of 27,000 people
struggling to remember, to forget, to find grace in both.
I sit with my son and deliver the news:
“Come on, Charlie, it is time to pray.
It is time for God to hug another town.”
“God needs to help more people?” he sort of asks and sort of states,
and pushes his crayons to the side.
I clasp my hands and bow my head in answer,
Yes, God needs to help more people.
But his fingers just tap each other hesitantly…he is not sure
this is a good idea.
“Mommy, does God have 3 hands?” he asks.
I pause, careful to honor the literalness
of his precious 6-year-old world.
“I’m actually not sure how many hands God has,” I respond.
“Well, can God keep all the babies safe in Heaven
and help all the people in that town?” he interrogates me,
in a tone mismatched to his chubby mouth.
I smile and I cry. The protectiveness of a big brother shines across his face—
his sister can’t lose her spot in God’s line.
I nod yes, and tell him something about how big and powerful God is.
And then I wait
for the next question to come.