I can not shake the lump in my throat.  If you are on facebook, I am sure you’ve seen this beautiful illustration of Jesus welcoming the little children into His loving arms.  It is very difficult for us to imagine that there is a place in heaven more wonderful than anything we can experience here.  Our hearts ache for the many innocent children and others who were taken from this world so needlessly.  Disgustingly.  Pathetically.  Nauseatingly.  My gut is just wrenching.  I can hardly let my mind go there.  From the parents, to the teachers, and to the children who witnessed this today—heartbreaking sadness, fear, and anxiety. 

I know, like all of you, I have held my kids tighter tonight.  I don’t want to leave our house.  I don’t want to go anywhere.  I want to protect them and by never leaving this house?  It sounds logical to me. 

That picture so does something else for me.  It reminds me that our kids are a gift.  They aren’t ours.  I know that—and I’ve tried to be mindful of that.  That no matter what, I can not protect them other than teaching them to be aware of obvious danger.  To help them learn the difference between right and wrong.  And then my mind goes to the family of the perpetrator.  Can you even imagine?  Oh my.  My heart is so heavy.  And although, the picture above makes me crumble to tears, there is a sense of beautiful comfort in knowing that Jesus has wrapped each and every one of those precious kids in his arms.  For those who are left, it has to be real to us.  It can’t be something that happened miles away and we forget about on Christmas morning when we open gifts and experience the joy of the season.  For so many, the joy will be lost. 

How do Steve and I deal with this and our kids?  We have a couple who would like to think of it as something that happened far away and could not happen here.  And one that is unable to understand.  And another that understands too well and has been shaken with fear.  Jesus’ arms are full and reaching far and wide tonight. 

It comes back to us.  WE are to be the light, because we have seen today—there is just so much darkness.   Keep shining God’s love.  Shine you, Lord.  Help us to shine you, Lord…

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