The Elegant Way to Keep Warm
New Year's Eve (c1919)

I Watch & Pray

Sandy Hook School sign white balloons (courtesy of MSN)

To watch or not to watch the news about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT ~ that seems to be the question, especially for parents.  I personally CAN NOT just shut if off and go back to life as it was before Friday, December 14th and pretend that everything is just "peachy keen". 

Is it because I have a little girl in Elementary School?   YES.  If you are not a parent, this may be hard to grasp, if you are, you will understand:  The sheer terror I felt in my heart when I dropped her off at school yesterday morning made me want to be physically sick.  But I also know that "normalcy & routine" are paramount to keep her from becoming terrified.  I am the adult.  She is the child.  I had to do the hard thing, I had to do what, as far as I knew, was the best thing for her, while all day long I feared  for her safety and prayed that she truly was SAFE in school...because the reality is that we don't really know that, do we?  A sense of the relative safety of our children in public schools was shattered on Friday.  And we'll never have it back.

Is it because I feel that by having some of the facts I can better process the tragedy and, as a result of that, prepare myself for the best reaction possible physically, mentally, emotionally & spiritually should such tragedy ever affect my life or the life of someone I know/love?  YES.

Is it that by giving those broken-hearted families my silent attention as a long-distance witness to their pain I am, in turn, showing "love of neighbor" and respect for them and those they lost?  YES

Though tempting, I can't just turn away, put it out of my mind, focus on the mundane, shallow, every-day things when I know that just a few hours away there are families and an entire community that are "crushed in spirit." 
(Psalms 34:18)

Seeing the faces of those children, and of the adults who bravely tried to protect them and gave their lives doing so is heartbreaking.  It is also a very real reminder that none of us are immune to the threat of this sort of horror.  And that is terrifying. 

So I watch, and I pray; for the victims, their families, for the first responders who have to live with the horror of what they saw that morning, and The Lord's Prayer ~ for God's Kingdom to come...because even if there was world peace, those families will never have peace in their minds and hearts without it, and neither will I.

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