If you told me all about your sorrows
I'd tell you 'bout a cure
If you told me you can't fight the battle
There's a baby boy who won the war
The war was won by a baby boy
I heard today’s song for the first time this week. The lyrics above are the first lines in the song. When I heard them I couldn’t help but think of the parents in Connecticut burying their children this week. I imagine many of them are wondering how you move beyond the days of sharing the kind of joy that is unique to a parent and their child, to the months and years ahead filled with wondering what that child would have been doing today. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of them, if not indeed most of them, feel like they’re in a battle they just can’t fight.
Since the events of last Friday, I’ve spent a lot of time as well wondering what kind of battle was going on inside the mind of the twenty year old kid who took the lives of those children. Sure, when someone’s personal battle erupts into a war on someone else’s children, it’s easy to resist counting that person among the victims in the tragedy. It certainly wouldn’t be a very popular thing to do. But I have to believe that somewhere along the twenty years of his life that young man decided he was in a battle he couldn’t fight. And his final surrender was heard around the world.
Then there is me – and we – who are engaged in our own battles each day. And although they may not include tragedies like the ones above, the toll they take on us is as harmless or devastating as our belief that we can keep fighting them..
How much easier would all of our battles be if we knew the war had already been won by a baby in a manger.
I too often forget that baby boy lives in me. And that I have a responsibility of letting those around me who are engaged in difficult battles know there is peace at the end of their fight. I’m afraid I don’t do that enough. I sometimes let my own battles blind me to the struggles of others. I can’t help but wonder how many times the solutions to the problems I face are rooted in just that – opening my eyes to the battles others are fighting.
In the wake of this most recent tragedy, I’ve asked myself how many times this past year I’ve asked someone “how are you doing” when it meant something more than any other casual greeting like “hello” or “goodbye”. When I asked it sincerely enough to hang around to get an answer. If I had done that more, would I have heard about a struggle to which I could have added hope, or at least had a chance to share where my hope comes from. Because I know that although we are engaged in so many daily battles, many of them are brought healing with the understanding that through Christmas, the war has already been won.