This morning, my mom and I, while listening to Christmas music, put up the tree. We are Christians and don’t necessarily approve of the over-commercialization of Christmas, but we celebrate it as the birth of Christ, whether he was technically born in December or not. It’s an important holiday for us and putting up the tree with my mom, with all of our mismatched, sentimental ornaments, has been a tradition in our lives since I was six. There are ornaments that I made in elementary school, with Christmas music playing in the background and glitter and glue covering every surface like a magical wonderland.
But this morning we could not help but to think of those elementary school kids in Connecticut. As I was putting up some ornaments I made in first grade, I found myself getting a little emotional – not, as in other years, at the memories I have, but because there are twenty children who will never make another ornament or put up the Christmas tree with their parents. There are twenty children whose presents might even be under the tree already but who will never open them, and who will never put presents under their own trees for their children to open.
Many children die every day. They die of hunger, they are murdered, they die of diseases. The difference is that this made the news. But the fact is that a very troubled young man who is a year younger than me needlessly walked into an elementary school full of kids who haven’t even had a chance to mess up their lives or make successes of them yet, and he killed them without any motive.
Some people are asking where God is in all of this. Do you think He wasn’t there? Do you think He isn’t grieved at the horror that took place in that school? This is not the time to ask, “Where is God?” It’s the time to pray that He will comfort those left behind. How can people fight to keep Him out of the schools and then accusingly ask where He was when this happened? Many, many families are in indescribable pain at this moment and there is nothing on this earth that can take their pain away. All we can do is to pray that they will be comforted, that God will help them through and show them how to live.
We lived in Colorado Springs at the time of the Columbine shooting, and that was beyond horrific. But these were elementary school children, between the ages of 5 and 10 according to news sources, and they are the picture of innocence, untouched, unsullied, untainted, little children. And there are parents who will not hold them in their arms ever again. That is unspeakable horror.
Pray for these people, pray for the school, pray for the surviving children who had to witness this, and pray for other children who are less televised but no less in trouble. Love those around you. And be grateful for this season, which despite everything, is one of hope and love. We are not to take these things and these times with family and friends for granted; we are to appreciate them and help those who are not so fortunate.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4.