Like you, my heart has been mourning the loss of life at Sandyhook Elementary School. Like you my husband and I watched horrified and sickened as the news unfolded. Our stomach in knots, our eyes filled with tears. Sleep was not easy for you either, I'm sure. I went to sleep crying for the families.
Saturday morning I had to face a rehearsal for our Children's Church Christmas Program with a dozen 4 yr old to 6th graders. I woke early, not wanting to do the practice. Each time I thought of looking into the eyes of the children I started weeping for those that were slain. I went to the church very early and I prayed. I prayed for the families in Newtown, I prayed for their community, the first responders, the clergy and grief counselors, and then I prayed for myself to get through the practice and for the children in my charge.
|The children brought comfort amidst sadness.|
God reminded me of something that a first grade teacher at Sandyhook said when she was being interviewed Friday night after the tragedy. She had locked all her students and herself in a tiny bathroom. Tearfully she explained (paraphrased) that she started telling her students how much she loved them, because she was fearful they were all going to be killed and she didn't want the last thing they heard to be gunshots, but rather someone saying, 'I love you.'
I love you.
|Our beautiful children saying the ABCs of Christmas -|
L was for the King of Love
For 17 years, I've been doing these Christmas programs - the last practices are always rough and frustrating. But Saturday's practice was indescribably polished and, dare I say, easy? Was it all because the priority was not perfect delivery, but was to let the children know they were loved? That no matter if they messed up their lines or missed a cue or misbehaved, we loved them.
|The children celebrating God's Gift of Love|
If today were your last day with someone, child or adult, will they know that you love them? I challenge you, in the memory of those lost at Sandyhook, to let the people you are with today, this moment, and days to come know that you love them. Know that you care. Look into their eyes and say, 'I love you,' then show them by your actions.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God
1 John 4:7
How will you show your love? Share with me in the comments.