In a small town in Minnesota they are laying a five-year old to rest. She was taken from her family home by a family friend and killed. From the time the Amber Alert went off, all week, we followed the horrible, sad story. Along with this, the media has repeatedly shown the picture of a traumatized five-year old Syrian boy, sitting all alone in a chair, covered in blood and dirt from a bombing. How do we explain the unexplainable, horrible, frightful acts of others to our children when we can’t understand them ourselves?
We want to protect their innocence, but we won’t. We want to let them know the world is safe, but it isn’t. We want to pull them onto our laps and never let them go, but we can’t. We want to have all the answers, but we don’t. And yet they look to us, they want us, they need us, to explain – the unexplainable.
Maybe, rather than try to explain the evil, horrible things that happen in this world in a desperate fight to protect their innocence (that is gone the minute they catch a glimpse of picture on the news); rather than explain the travesties and traumas happening daily in our world and to each other, rather than explain the unexplainable hurts, what if we pulled them onto our laps and explained the unexplainable hope that happens daily in our world?
Can we look them in the eyes and apologize for all the hurt, acknowledge the world is scary sometimes, that people we love die and assure them we’ll do everything we can to protect them AND people will get hurt anyway and people will die anyway? Can we explain the unexplainable that is bigger than mommy and daddy, bigger than any people, bigger than the whole world?
Explain the unexplainable: It’s God, Jesus, Allah, Buddha, the Creator, Great Spirit, Guardian Angels that give us the unexplainable faith that there is good in the world, there is hope that things will and can get better, there are always helpers when bad things happen. Can we give them the belief that though a person, even a five-year old may be physically gone from our lives, their spirit, the thing that makes them who they are, will always be with us?
If we have to explain the unexplainable, let’s explain that one day, we don’t know how, but we do believe, some day we will be together with the people we love again. We’ll miss them now, we’ll cry and be sad, but we can also smile and be happy knowing, believing, our love for someone lives even when their body doesn’t. That’s the unexplainable I try to explain.