Today, as I've watched the news about the horrible shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut, I've been bombarded with mixed emotions. As always, when something so tragic happens, it reminds me that my time with my little ones is more precious than I realize. It reminds me to be a little more patient, to be a little more thankful, and to hug them a little bit tighter. It's more than that though. There's sheer, indescribable horror at the thought of how something so truly awful could take place. It's heartache and heartsickness. It's anguish that so many little ones had to die and that so many more will carry scars of this day for the rest of their lives. It's no wonder that we sometimes live in such a broken world. We're marring the generation that will carry life forward.
Tucked in these emotions, I find a lack of comprehension. We live in a place of relative safety, and yet, we bring the echoes of war to our own doorsteps. Somehow, we're forgetting the blessings we have and using the double-edged sword of freedom to chip away at our security and our future. Somehow, we're losing the ability to think of the needs of others above our own. It's only happening one person at a time, but that connection to our fellow men seems to be dwindling.
I don't claim to know what the solution is. But, I do know that sweet, innocent children dying is not it ... A friend talked about the Savior's words:
It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. (Holy Bible, Luke 17:2)I have to admit that these words are a pretty accurate description of how I feel ... It would be easy to get lost in the bitterness of having to rear children in a world that showcases such hatred that even the youngest and most innocent of us are no longer safe. It would be easy to let the darkness of such moments overwhelm us. But, it would just feed the problem. Rather, today, I think I'll snuggle a little more with my children, perhaps read with them by the Christmas tree, and pray that, perhaps one day, we'll see the miracle of peace on earth.
Today especially, I find myself more thankful than I can say for this Christmas season. For the reminder that, though we face tragedy and sorrow, there is a Savior. He lived as man and He lives again as Deity. It may or may not be soon, but one day He will come again. Hearts and lives will be whole and safe and happy ... and that's a hope worth hugging a little more tightly this day.