I had planned to write three Christmas blogs–about creative gifts and typical stress and the antics of extended family at holiday dinners. Then the horror of the Newtown shootings burst through my car radio as I drove home from a meeting. I called out a prayer of “Oh, Father God. Help those folks. And help the rest of us, too.”
I’m two thousand miles from that East Coast atrocity, but all I wanted to do was drive to the local school and hug my 6- and 10-year-old grandsons. I forced myself to pull into my garage, instead.
Inside my house, I started to turn on the national news, but my mind was filled with unspeakable images, so I numbly sank into my easy chair. My table-top Christmas tree is positioned nearby with gifts for my grandsons underneath. And I wept as I thought of presents in Newtown that never will be opened by excited little hands. I wept as I thought of those precious lives in their final seconds. I wept as I thought of the parents rushing to the fire house near the school, praying their child would run into their arms—-and sobbing when that little one didn’t appear.
In those moments, I didn’t ponder gun laws or angry young shooters or our nation’s need for better mental health care. I could do nothing but pray for those families, for our nation, for my own teacher daughter and her assistant principal husband and their sons. And my only comfort was the image of Jesus welcoming the slain into heaven. But I wonder if first He didn’t wipe tears from His own eyes.