My heart aches for those in Connecticut. I have no words to even begin to question, to understand such evil. To take the lives of children.... I honestly can't think of anything worse. Jason said to me this morning he doesn't see how anyone could get through such a thing without faith and as I nodded in agreement, I wasn't sure my faith would be strong enough to bear such pain. But as I sat rocking my baby girl, I realized God knows her and loves her even more than I do (something I know but cannot fathom). And I also know those children are with Him now, crowded around the One who is Love. The fear is gone, the pain is gone, nothing but joy and love surrounds them now. I believe this, although I'm not sure it would help, not immediately anyway, if I were the parent of one of those children.
I know God gives and He takes away, but He hasn't really taken anything away from me in my short 32 years on this earth. I know it is coming, I'll have to let go of those I love. They may have to let go of me, but somehow it is easy to flit around in this life and not think about that. It is easy to read a good book, to shop for Christmas presents, to plan my next training run, to change Eloise into a cute new outfit, and not think about the evil that surrounds us. Then something like what happened in Connecticut shatters my tiny, happy world and forces me to look beyond and see. It forces me to look inward and dig around for the faith lying around in there. I dust it off and wonder if it is strong enough to handle the horrors of this world should they show up on my door step.
And at Christmas... it always seems worse when it happens at Christmas.
As you can see, my words are inadequate. My heart aches for the parents and friends and loved ones of all those killed in Connecticut. My prayers go up for them as I pray that God reaches down and does what only He can do to heal hearts. And my prayers go up for my own little girl and the faith of her parents. The only thing I can do to protect her from this world is to share that faith with her and help her make it her own.
I want to close with a prayer written by Max Lucado. I think it is beautiful and it expresses my feelings and my prayer. Dare I say it even gives me hope, because I know these prayers are heard.
It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were night shift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
- Max Lucado, "A Christmas Prayer"