Ouch, not so tight….

….this is what I told my daddy and mommy when they came home Friday after work. For some reason they felt the need to hug me so tightly I had to let out a squeal. I’m not exactly sure why they felt so strongly about hugging me on this particular day.

I know my parents wrestled with whether or not to tell me about the horrific events of the day that took place in a small town called Newton, CT, which like most people, I’ve never heard of this town before – of course, I had never heard of Littleon, CO either. Unfortunately for those that were there or anyone with an ounce of compassion, it will be remembered with a sad heart. Mommy and daddy decided I didn’t need to know about the tragedy in Newton. They aren’t sure if they are right and they are not casting judgement on anyone who approached it differently.

They know the world is not perfect and we are all human and fallible, but those are all lessons I will learn way too soon for any parent. Like most parents probably wish for, my mommy and daddy want to preserve as much of my childish innocence and naiveté  (in a good way) as possible for as long as possible. They don’t want me to fear people or school more than I already do. They know I am capable of many things, but they’re not sure if I know how to process certain things like this yet.

I may not know for sure how to process and I’m not sure anyone ever really will or wants to know how to process these types of unforgivable and senseless acts of violence and/or rage because that would mean it was way too common of an occurrence. What I do know is that when I ask God why this happened or where he was when these children and teachers were taken, I don’t hear an answer – I just get an overwhelming feeling that instills a sense of knowing that there is a bigger plan I may never understand. That mystery can be hard to accept no matter how much of a reality it is and at the same time comforting that there is a plan for all this grief and loss. What I do know for sure is on the Monday after Newton’s heartbreak, not only did more parents walk their kids to school or walk them inside the school, more parents hugged their kids and made sure they told them they loved them no matter how loud or who heard. I have to believe that is the start of the bigger plan.

In addition to the touching stories of courageous teachers protecting their students like they were their own children, below are some of the more touching things I’ve seen since 12/14/12.

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.”
 – Author Unknown
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