I’m joining The Gypsy Mama and others again this week for FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY. This week’s word is “ache.” If you want to join the fun or if you want to read more posts on this theme by other authors, check out the original post HERE:

I saw the fear-filled facebook posts from friends in Northeast Ohio on Monday morning, then found news feeds to learn more. There was another school shooting, this time in that area of the country.

MY HEART ACHES for the students who were traumatized, for the families of those who died, for the EMS and police crews who responded to the tragedy, and for the shooter and his family.

I watched my husband’s jaw clench and shoulders tighten up as he read the stories. Yet another student who was picked on for years, feeling that no one else would or could stop the abuse, deciding to take matters into his own hands and do what he could to stop the pain. Yet again my husband identifies with that student’s feelings and with his decisions and with his actions.

MY HEART ACHES for those who deal with years of being picked on, being ostracized; for the life-long wounds that brings; for the feelings of never being good-enough.

On Tuesday, friends posted a link on facebook to a music video which had been put together by the Christian radio station in Northeast Ohio. It used images from Chardon Highschool during and after the shooting along with a wonderful, difficult song. The video was designed to be played on Leap Day (Wednesday) to challenge students to look around them for those who are in pain, who are picked on and who feel that no one stands up for them. It challenged students to LEAP—Love, Encourage, Accept & Pray for those hurting ones. (You can watch it HERE)

MY HEART ACHES for the weeping ones in the video. I broke down and cried at the image of the EMS/Police officers who were crying together. I know it was difficult when even they broke down in public…

On Wednesday, since I was subbing for the 7th & 8th grade class at our local school, I took time to play the video for our Navajo students. After it was over, I kept the lights off and asked students to take time to think who in their lives is hurting and who they might be able to encourage.

MY HEART ACHES for some of those students who were “glassy-eyed” by the time I turned the lights back on; the ones who are raising their younger siblings since every adult in their “camp” is always drunk; the ones who themselves are ostracized and picked on; the one whose mother died just last month. Who will reach out and encourage them?

Finally, I talked to one of my kids that night. And I heard more details of times when that child was ostracized, and picked on, and bullied when in a school setting. This young adult is just now seeing the damage that caused, and just now better understanding how to trust others and build good friendships.

MY HEART ACHES at all the times and all the ways I failed to see when my children were hurting, the times I failed to help them process woundings, the times I contributed to such woundings myself.

It is always hard to see evil in the world. But it is even worse when such evil is done to young ones. Sometimes I ask “Where is God?” But even more often I ask myself, “Where are the adults? Where are WE when such harm is being done?”

MY HEART ACHES at the pain endured by our children and young adults.

God, please come and bring healing to broken hearts…