In other words, as upset as I was, I was not nearly as important as the baby and the baby mama. Let me say, I always agreed with that. I just had such a hard time trying to dealing with was going on and I felt that if I could just replace conversations with someone (1) who was so upset on my behalf that I was dealing with kindhearted, under-informed folks who most frequently were much better at spewing their own fears on me than in calmly, and knowledgeably walking beside me, OR (2) who wanted to discuss the political ramifications of a situation they did not understand and I really was not too interested in listening to the rant, OR (3) who couldn't look me in the eye because they found it all too embarrassing, with conversations leading to some facts surely I could feel more grounded.
That was not going to happen. I will never understand how a beloved, bright, funny, handsome child so completely lost his way for a while. I will never understand what I might have done differently to prevent the tragedy. I will never know perfectly how to balance helpful coaching with clingy mother over-reaching.
But what I do know is this: I don't have to understand it all. I have been given forgiveness, comfort, hope, fellowship, even joy by a God who does have all the answers and knows all the awesome possibilities for the future. Of course, the choice is not mine to make for anyone but myself. God, woos us, seeks us to be God's loving and respectful daughter or son rather than a compliant robot The only way that works if we are given a choice even with the risks that implies.
Oh, and I strongly recommend praying for the chaplain and chaplaincy staff in jails and prisons everywhere. They are doing increasingly challenging work, with increasingly angry and frightened people and in most jails, they have to raise their own funding. But they are doing increasingly important work. Thank God them every time you think of them and support them with kindness, and consider supporting chaplaincy work in your local area.