158381690“Mom, did you hear about the bus accident in Indianapolis? The youth pastor and his wife were killed and another mom on the bus also died,” my daughter Anne said to me when we met for dinner.

Yes, I had heard.

I had already shed tears.

My heart was still hurting deeply for their families.

Anne said she had been deeply affected by it, too.  Anne and her husband Matt are in youth ministry themselves. They have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.  It hit a little too close to home for her.

I think it hits a little too close to home for any mom. Any parent. Any human being with a heart for that matter.

Courtney Phelps was a young mom of a two-year-old. She was 8 month pregnant. She was a daughter herself as well as a daughter-in-law.

Chad Phelps  was a father, a pastor, a guy who loved hanging with teens.  He was a son, a brother, a brother-in-law.

Tonya Weindorf was a wife and mother of five. She had a special needs child. She was a homeschooling mom.

When we hear about tragedies like this, we can only imagine the depth of pain and hurt. We feel for those affected, because we understand what their lives look like to a certain extent.  There is an unspoken feeling of sisterhood when you’re a mom.

I have Rilyn and Landon this week while Matt and Anne are with their youth group on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. Every time I change 15-month-old Landon’s diaper I pray for another grandmother out there who is doing the same thing, but her grandson’s mommy and daddy won’t be home in a few days.

If you’ve shed tears or been deeply burdened over this tragedy or another one like it, that’s perfectly okay. You don’t have to know them to care about them. When you think about these families, take that as a prompting from God to stand in the gap. Pray for their broken hearts. Pray for the journey ahead. Pray for the grief and loss that will be processed for years to come.

After all, both those who are now gone and those who are left behind, they are one of us.

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