At this time of year, driving through the Nation’s Capital, one would expect to see trees lit up, wreathes on every door, a menorah on display, and other festive examples of the season. At this time of year, people are shopping, singing carols, mailing holiday greetings, and attending parties. What I saw in the Nation’s Capital when I drove through last week caught by breath. It was a stark reminder of the world in which we live, and it was not something I wanted to see at Christmas time.
Standing staring up at the Capitol, watching the flag wave in the wind, my mind drifted back to the events of almost one week prior… in Newtown, Connecticut. For twenty-six families, this Christmas will be very different. Because of the actions of one selfish? Insane? Deranged? Individual, their lives are forever changed. Instead of wrapping gifts from Santa or dressing up in festive wear, they were planning a funeral and hoping the Westboro Baptist Church didn’t attend.
Tragedy is part of this crazy world. I drove past a funeral home today and saw people lining up behind the hearse. A funeral on Christmas Eve. My own grandfather passed away just before Christmas 40 years ago. I often think how different Christmas would be in my own household had I not received a phone call in July 2011, but instead received the heart-stopping knock on the door.
Life is full of heartache, challenges, finales, new beginnings, love, hate, etc. We are a nation at war, and so many young men and women are taken from us when they are so far from home. But when 20 little children are taken in one event, it really hits home for every American. It reminds us what is really important in this crazy world – our family, our friends, our loved ones.
I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. May you find peace, love and hope in your stockings on Christmas morning. And may the families affected by the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut find peace and solace knowing their little ones are celebrating Jesus’ birthday with Him this year.