I never watch the news on television, and I wasn’t about to start now.
I barely read a newspaper any longer either. The fixation in the news media on the horrors of our world are far too much for this tender heart to bear. So I didn’t read the newspapers. None of them. And I stayed away from the news online too.
I skipped over Twitter and Facebook too, skimming my eyes over the constant coverage, the grim details, the unbearable sorrow. When a few of my Twitter friends chose to constantly tweet about it, I really had no other choice. I blocked them. I hated it, but that’s what I needed. I read a few of their words on their own blogs, but even then I decided I couldn’t finish these posts. So I didn’t read their blogs anymore.
There was only one, this one, that I read, and re-read and read over and over again. This was the one that people needed to read.
I don’t need to read all the news about it. No one needs to fixate on it. It does no one any good, but we, as a society, can’t seem to look away, and the sorrow played out through sensationalist journalism is a drug that we can’t seem to give up in our lives. And it does no good but to make us anxious, panicky and mournful.
I did talk briefly about it with close friends, over dinner, and wine and connection. But it was more about how to cope, and understand, then about details. I don’t want the details. Why does anyone want the details?
Instead, I chose joy. And it was the hardest joy to choose.
And I prayed. Every time I thought of the sorrow- and believe me, even without the constant onslaught of tweets and status updates and everything else, I thought about it A LOT– and when I did, I prayed. I prayed for the families. I prayed for the souls lost. I prayed for our nation, and the anxiety it caused. I just prayed.
I chose to pray every time I thought about it. Because quite frankly, I didn’t know what else to do. Nothing will help; no arguing, no pontification, no lobbying, no pleading, no nothing. Panic won’t help. Anxiety won’t help. Fear, by God, fear will not help.
I chose joy. I chose to buy our Christmas tree, drenched in the weekend’s rain. I chose to pull out box after box of Christmas decorations and deck my halls. I chose to light up our house and dwell in the light, not the darkness. I chose joy. I chose to sing. I chose to smile and hug and think of the birth of our Saviour. I set up our Nativity scene and prayed some more.
I chose joy. I begrudge no one for their choices, and their means to understand.
But for me, I chose joy.