As I scan the posts of Facebook this morning, I came across the sweet faces of the 26 people who died on Friday. My heart just broke. Trembling lips, tears falling, I just can't help the overwhelming sadness I feel when I think of the senseless tragedy that took place.
Then I saw Mike Huckabee's video. My heart again, broke for the senselessness of removing God from our public schools. I agree with him. If prayer had been allowed in school, I seriously doubt it would've stopped the bad from happening. Shoot. We pray all the time, but still, bad things happen because there are bad people. I also agree that taking away people's rights to have guns isn't the answer. Bad people will still find a way to get them. We are only giving innocent people a way to not have a means of defending themselves.
But aside from all that, I sat yesterday in church and bawled like a baby for about 5 minutes. The worship pastor of Waterstone talked about what happened, and I just cried. I couldn't stop myself. At one point, my wonderful husband handed me a pack of tissues he keeps in his coat pocket. Thank God! I needed it!
I don't know anyone who was affected by Friday's shootings. I don't have a distant cousin or relative or even a friend who lost a loved one. I do have an incredible God who watched it happen, who welcomed those into Heaven, and who said, "Weep with those who weep." And so I wept. And I continue to do so.
My first thought on Friday was, "How are we to celebrate Christmas when that happened? Is it right to be happy and spread Christmas cheer when so many are hurting?" Then my pastor said something on Sunday that put it all in perspective, "We will celebrate because this is why Jesus came. To give hope to a sad and very lost world." I'm not happy about the gifts under the tree. I'm happy and joyful because of what Jesus came to do. That's why we celebrate Christmas.
I celebrate Christmas because of the baby born in a manger, because of a Divine night that changed the world. I celebrate Christmas because of a King who stepped down from His throne and abandoned His home to pour out His love for me. I celebrate Chris-child because of what the God-man would one day do.
Yes, I will celebrate Christmas this year. The tragedy of Friday renewed the meaning of Christmas for me. We are a world in desperate need of a Savior. And I want so very badly to do my very best to reflect Him, not just this time of year, but year round, every day that God gives me breath.