That is how we are whether we like it or not. As I prepared my sermon for yesterday I said - and believe - that the horrific killings in Connecticut lifted the veil for all of us. And revealed our condition - vulnerable. Always.
We like to now talk about gun control (yes!) and mental health issues and school security. And they are important and changes are probably necessary. But at some point we all are very vulnerable all the time. I remember when there were the church killings in Knoxville and I thought that someone could come into my church at any time and do the same thing. We have "ambassadors" to protect us - but really - a person with a machine gun?
And then there are the health issues that we don't know about. For both my parents and my sister the cancer came seemingly out of nowhere. And what can you do? Chemo, radiation, prayer, but we are all vulnerable.
And maybe that is why I love Jesus so much. Born in the most vulnerable way - in an animal trough away from home. You know the story. And his life was a life of non defensive living and yet courage to speak the truth and compassion to reach out to all people.
And he shows me that I can trust God through the worst of what life has to offer. It is not avoiding pain but getting through it and continuing to live. Forever.
I watch people whose response to pain and loss is self protection and anger and unending grief. And I know about stages of grief - but I also know that it is easy to get stuck.
I think the answer is always to to look for the light, to wait for the healing and to know that even after the death of precious children our life must continue. There are more blessings to come as hard as that is to imagine right now.
We are vulnerable - always - and we are alive.