December 17, 2012

Finding Joy

Newtown, Connecticut....Sandy Hook Elementary School....6 brave teachers and administrators....20 precious children.  A tragedy that has rocked the nation.  As we seek to understand we ask hard questions:  "Why?"  "How could this happen?"  "Should we take guns away or arm our teachers?"  "Where was God?"  We also seek someone to blame:  the parents and their divorce; medical, social, and school systems that didn't identify the risk or "fix" the shooter; anyone who knew something was "off" and didn't do anything; God.

I join with everyone in weeping for the pain and heartache left behind for the families and friends, but as a believer and follower of Jesus, I rejoice today because I can take comfort in knowing that those 20 precious lives are in Heaven today.  They will never know pain again, only the absolute joy of being near the Father.

There's a poem going around on Facebook that offers comfort to those who believe it....


twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38

when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled wit
h such joy, they didn't know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"this is heaven." declared a small boy. "we're spending Christmas at God's house."
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"may this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"come now my children, let me show you around."
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and i heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."



I know it's hard and our grief is still raw, but I'm asking and reminding everyone to please, please remember the family of Adam (the shooter) in your thoughts and prayers as well.  It is tempting to hate and lay blame, but they have lost two members and they have to not only deal with that, but also the knowledge of what one of their own has done.

Don't let anger and pain turn us into something we're not.  Turn off the news and stop focusing on and rehashing it all over and over.  Do some volunteer work in your community.  Give of yourself and turn your eyes instead to the good things of this world and to the One who gives them.  Let that be your focus as we enter this blessed and joyous season of celebrating Christ's birth.

5 comments:

Dawn Paoletta said...

Yes, Stacy- good words that you end with about the family of the shooter. We must not waste our energy on hate. We must remember meekness, gentleness, love and mercy...we all need it. The families of the victims of this tragedy, the family of the one who brought it to pass and all of those impacted directly. Also those who are being impacted from a distance...

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Excellent post.

mare ball said...

Exactly. Very good. It bothers me that in the media, no one is "remembering" Lanza's mother. She was shot and killed too. We only hear about the children/teachers. I wrote a post about this too...how God is not to blame. It's so important for people to come to understand this.
adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com

Brenda Youngerman said...

I read this 'poem' on a different blog and I have to say that even though I am not a believer it is difficult not to believe after reading this poem..... you just HAVE to believe!
Happy Holidays Stacy!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

It was unimaginable. ((HUGS))

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