Monday, December 17, 2012
I've been reluctant to post anything here or on my Facebook page. It seems that nothing I have to say is really important in light of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT on Friday. But I can say these three things...
1. Today, I told my oldest two about the tragedy in CT. Sunshine already knew, she saw a newspaper in the checkout line Saturday at Target. She also said her Sunday School teachers discussed it very briefly and their class spent time in prayer for the community of Newtown. Belle didn't know anything about it, which I really expected. While I was hesitant to tell her, I wanted her to know in case she heard about it from another child. It was heartbreaking to share the story. I don't want my children to be afraid; I don't want them to even have to know how broken our world is. But it is, and has been, even in "the good ol' days."
I told them Mr. Rogers' style. I told them about the tragedy. I told them about the 26 innocent lives lost. I told them about the 20 precious children, younger than them, who are gone. I told them about the teachers who tried to shield the children and lost their lives. I told them about the principal and therapist who tried to stop the gunman. I told them all of the good deeds, the heroic acts, that I've read about (and I've read as little as possible...on purpose). We talked about the police officers who rushed to the school, in harm's way, to save as many children as possible. We talked about how many children did not lose their lives that day because of those police officers. We talked about the police officers around the country and in our own community, who would do just the same for any of us. Bravery, courage, strength. Amazing. Like Mr. Rogers, we focused on the helpers.
2. "O come let us adore him...." Belle is in the children's choir at church. She sings her way through every day. I love it. Today she's singing "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful" over and over. And I'm soaking it in, loving every moment of it. The only thing I love more than Christmas carols is listening to children sing them. I have renewed hope.
3. Reconnect with your family. STOP texting. STOP sending emotionless emails. STOP sitting together in front of the television. STOP letting them play on their DS/iPod touch/phone while you're sitting at a table in a restaurant. START talking. START having conversations...real conversations. Engage them. Ask them what they think, how they feel. Look at their eyes when you're talking to them. Take time every day to look at their beautiful faces and HUG them. Don't just tell them that you love them. Do these simple things to SHOW them that you love them.
...for the joy of the Lord is (my) strength.