Today I host our annual Family Christmas Party.
This year, it will be different.
Our hearts are heavy
and the tears flow
for the victims of this week's horrible tragedy in Connecticut.
But it just doesn't feel like it's enough.
My sister is coming.
She knows this kind of pain.
She lost her daughter Ashley 8 years ago.
Ashley was 16 years old,
and killed, along with her boyfriend in
a drunk driving accident.
She is having a hard time this year.
The sorrow keeps flowing back into her heart.
My heart breaks for my sister, and any parent who has lost a child,
I can't imagine anything hurting more.
This tragedy hits close to home.
I work at an elementary school,
with children with special needs and behavior problems.
We practice lockdowns,
and know how ineffective they would be against
an armed intruder.
We have also learned that the shooter was born
in the town right next door to ours.
He lived there until he was six,
the same age as many of his victims.
His mother grew up and was married here.
Her family still lives here too,
including her brother who is a police officer.
Reporters and news trucks drive by my home
and I realize that evil is everywhere.
I have many students who I worry about,
for many different reasons.
I will pray harder for them,
that they grow up safe,
and grow up to make good choices.
I am thankful for my faith.
That I know that there is more than just this life.
There is a Father who loves us,
and those little children in Newtown, Connecticut.
He knows the pain these families are going through,
because His Son died too.
He died for us, that we could have eternal life.
God gave His greatest Gift,
to wipe away our sin,
so we could be saved.
We just need to accept this precious gift.
For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whoever believes in Him,
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.