Yesterday, it was time. I had put it off long enough. I had to clean the four-year-old’s car seat. Cleaning car seats is probably my least favorite parenthood task and it’s because it’s not just one task. It’s a multi-layered, long series of tasks. First, you have to uninstall the car seat. Next, you have to remove the washable cover trying to remember how it was all connected together. Then, you have to wash and dry that cover followed by vacuuming out the car seat as well as the seat where the car seat was that has collected crumbs, rocks, and “treasures.” Even after you have done all of that, you still have to replace the cover once it has been washed and reinstall the whole car seat. Exhausting.
I didn’t feel the normal frustration I usually feel when I was replacing the car seat cover yesterday. As I was trying to find all the tiny hooks that connect the cover to the car seat, I found myself remembering the three families in Nashville who lost their nine-year-olds. I found myself reminded that their grief isn’t just a one-time grief. They will be reminded of the precious lives they lost with every Lego they find in their cars and every stuffie that is lying around the house. Over and over again, their grief will wash over them in those daily reminders.
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, Jesus teaches, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” I pray that these families will receive comfort in their mourning. I pray that we won’t forget their grief and mourning. As we approach Holy Week, I pray that as we journey to the cross, we will remember that we have but one life to live and that our choices and even more our voices impact others.
May we choose to use our voices to create resurrection and new life, even when it challenges power. May we choose to mourn with those who mourn.