Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Light in the darkness

We were driving through Starbucks, Corbin and I, cheered that winter morn by hot cups of coffee in hand and a thick hazlenut aroma filling our car. We spent the morning together at an appointment, our children safely tucked in their schools, while across the country shots rang out and cries of anguish filled the air at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A few hours later I sat alone at my desk, head in hands, weeping, with Fox News reports, one impossible update after another, splashing across my computer screen.
Like most everyone we know, we went through the weekend numb with grief, trying to enter into this tragedy but also keeping a little distance because it's unbearable to consider the reality of events. These young, precious lives, and so many of them.

Our pastor spoke Sunday of God's unchanging nature. That brings me hope.
The picture of Mr. Rogers, leaning into a child's face, quoting his mother's advice that "when tragedy hits, look for the helpers, there are always helpers." That brings me hope.
And now this sweet poem now circling the internet- brings me hope.
Not hope in circumstances, or that grief will ever cease for these families this side of heaven, or that this will certainly, surely be the last like this (?!).
But hope in the Light of the world, our Rescuer.

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 with 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."
Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA and others