This past Friday, I was on top of the world.  MG and I had spent the morning at the local Y for open gym time and she loved it.  Plus, my little Mommy heart was tickled when she went over to a baby’s mom and began asking questions about him, when she shared sweetly with her friends, and then when she spontaneously helped clean up.  After, we ran about an hour’s worth of errands, which can be trying on us both, but spirits remained high as we dashed from store to store.  On top of that, N and I had a baby-free night to look forward to, eating out at a new Mediterranean restaurant and finishing up the last of our Christmas shopping.

And then around 1 o’clock pm, I happened to turn on the tv and everything stopped.
For hours, I refreshed Google News, read status updates as friends verbalized their feelings, and let myself feel everything until my heart physically ached.
I’m sure you have a similar story to mine.
What happened on Friday affected me (and us all) on so many levels.
First as a parent.  During the four school shootings in recent history, I’ve yet to experience one as a parent. It is a whole new and terrible dynamic. My grief for those affected families (both who lost children and those who had children witness it) is profound.   That could have been any of our babies in that school.
Then as a (former) teacher.  I was once asked, early, early on in my career, “Would you take a bullet for these students?”.  I was reminded of that indelible moment as I read the heroic stories of the teachers, administrators, and staff who saved lives at great risk to their own.  There are so many educators in my family, not to mention friends and coworkers. It could have been any of them.  And I know beyond a doubt they would have done the same.  A hundred times over.  Today had to be a very hard and emotional one as they returned to their jobs with this tragedy so fresh in their minds.
As the world grieves, we look for hope.  In the past days since the shooting, I’ve noticed more than ever people drawn to MG.  Like the elderly lady at the grocery store today who patted her little hand with tears in her eyes.  And our neighbor who said, “It’s just nice to see a sweet little one on a day like today.”  It is no wonder that the Savior of the world came to us in such a tiny, innocent package.
There have been many wise words spoken and I really don’t have any to add, but my favorite words have come from a prayer attributed to Max Lucado:

Dear Jesus,

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 nightshift 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.
Your Children


Come soon, LORD Jesus!


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