Honest Grief and Hopeful Joy—

It’s been one week since the tragedy at Covenant School in Nashville. The grief is still fresh, and we all feel deeply for each family impacted. Worship felt a little sweeter yesterday, and Holy Week will have special meaning as we remember the six lives taken too early. We are all praying for Covenant Presbyterian in Nashville as they confidently draw near to the throne of grace that they may receive mercy and find grace to help in their time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

This picture of my mom and niece was taken during a season of significant grief as my mom buried her husband, my father. After months of sadness, it was wonderful to capture this moment of joy. For believers, this is what grief is like. We are sad, but not without hope. Joy truly is a happiness, but with a little bit of sadness mixed in. Life on earth is hard. Suffering is real. But we anticipate eternity with Christ.

This moment of joy was significant because I had also witnessed our grief. The children we love, in our homes and our churches, are watching us. We can honestly grieve in front of them. This makes the moments of pure joy stand out in contrast. Let the children see both your grief and your joy, and be sure to point them to the One who gives us hope in the midst of both.

Katie Flores is Children’s Ministry Coordinator for the PCA’s Committee on Discipleship Ministries. Katie oversees the effort of CDM to connect and equip those who serve in discipleship ministry to children. She develops and reviews resources to help those who work with children and youth and conducts training for church leaders, staff, and volunteers.