The lights are hung on the house, the stockings are all in a row on the fire place, and the beautiful tree is up with presents for the entire family underneath. All while Santa's gifts are hidden away for all the kids somewhere in the house.
This was the picture for all of us because it is "the most beautiful time of the year." But, when the news broke about the events in Newtown, CT and the lights faded and the stockings were no longer our focus, but rather our tv and computer screens as we all relate the events to our own lives.
I couldn't sleep last night thinking about this. The story hit me hard being a kindergarten teacher myself. I am not a mother so I am not saying I can understand the story on that level, but as a teacher, my students are "my kids" for the year. I don't just think about them for the 9 hours I am with them. I think about them constantly after school on the weekends, over the holidays wondering if they got that Monster High doll or remote control helicopter. As a teacher I cannot help the tears rolling down my face as I write this.
I think about the parents who like everyone else have bought gifts and hung stockings for their children who never made it out of the school yesterday. I think about the children of the Principal, guidance counselor, and other teachers that lost their lives. I think about how these small children who did make it out alive will ever be brave enough to walk into school again or how their parents will ever let them go back to school.
As the questions run ramped through my mind every answer I come up with is "I don't know" or "I don't understand."
But, here is what I do understand...the Prince of Peace is still on the throne, He is still in control, and his strength and peace is raining down on those affected and this nation in this moment.
No gun regulations, security systems, or law enforcement can save us. Simply Jesus. So while all of my answers are I don't know and I don't understand I am choosing to rest in His all knowing and all understanding power. I'm resting in the Prince of Peace.