Like most Americans, I spent much of the weekend pondering Friday's massacre at Sandy Hook. I'm heartbroken; we all have that in common, but how we process is so different. I was alone (in public) when I heard the news. When I couldn't get a hold of Matt, I went on FB and Twitter to find some sort of connection in my grief. In the beginning, each and every status update lamented the shock, horror, and sadness of it all, but as the weekend continued, different tones emerged as people tried their best to make sense of things in their own way. How other people process can be really annoying if it's not similar to your own.
Isn't that how it always goes?
In these monumental moments, whether tragic, or overwhelmingly beautiful, we have about 30 seconds where we can all be on the same page, united in whatever it is we are united over, until the pull of self tip-toes in with a single comment. Or look. Or whatever it is that awakens the I that momentarily stepped aside for the other. I think one of the wisest things I read was this: http://timgombis.com/2012/12/17/silence/.
Not inaction. But giving each other room to breathe, deeply.
Waiting on wisdom.
Maybe we can stretch out those 30 seconds of unity. Because having different ideas is good. It's healthy, enriching. We need different perspectives to challenge us to go deeper. As long as those perspectives are laced in grace and the desire for understanding.
There were constructive conversations. I read a long post between my mom and a lifelong friend, where their views differed, but instead of feeling aggravated by it, it made me want to go back to growing up around our kitchen table where hours of conversation took place between our families. I wanted to connect with eyes and inflections, not a dumb computer screen.
Because that's what's supposed to take place between neighbors.
If we could just extend our 30 seconds. And just be.