Tonight I had the incredible blessing of watching my 4-year-old daughter perform in a Christmas dance recital. I helped her get ready by putting on her glittery leotard and pulling her hair back in bun. I smiled as she gingerly walked onto the big stage, and giggled as she twirled in her fluffy white tutu. As the evening went on and I watched the children dance, my mind escaped off to that place of sadness for the mom’s and dad’s of the little princes and princess’s who were not tucked into their beds tonight. The shooting tragedy in Connecticut today has invaded my thoughts, and it was hard to get the families whose lives were abruptly interrupted off of my mind.
Christmas presents will be left unopened, family pictures will not happen, visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house will be filled with tremendous heartache, and parents will forever feel the silent emptiness of loss. Gingerbread houses will go unmade, Christmas stockings will mournfully hang by chimneys, Santa will not be visited, and the sounds of laughter will not ring out on Christmas morning. It is absolutely heart-wrenching to think of the precious lives lost today. These children were just going about their day handing in homework, counting down the days until Santa visits, and telling their teachers their big plans for the weekend when darkness entered their lives.
The sad truth is that violence against children occurs year round and all over this world on a daily basis. We discard them as if they don’t matter. We ignore them as if they are not important. We use and abuse them as if their little hearts and bodies will just “get over it”. Scripture speaks of children being a reward, and yet, we take our time with them for granted. I absolutely believe that we will not escape the Lord’s passionate and protective love for His children.
It is days like today that I hugged my Kindergartner and ballerina a little tighter. It is days like today that I repeated the words “I Love You” to them often. It is days like today that I am reminded that our children are not ours. We are gifted with them for a while. Some stay longer than others, but ultimately, they are the Lord’s children.
It is days like today that I long for His return.