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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Finding solace in a trying time

Friday, December 21, 2012

In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., our country grieves collectively. Nothing seems to be able to soothe our battered souls as we are faced with the deaths of 26 innocent people, including 20 first graders, at the hands of a disturbed 20-year-old gunman.

There are no easy answers to the question "Why?" that is reverberating through our nation's conscience. Sometimes life is unexplainable, indecipherable, beyond human comprehension. These tragedies have a way of stripping life down to its most vital elements. We hold our loved ones tighter, pray for those affected by the tragedy and cling to our belief that God is ultimately in control and is now cradling the Sandy Hook victims in His loving arms.

I have been struggling personally to find any sort of peace following the shooting, and on Thursday morning, my husband, Mike, shared a poem with me that was published on Dr. Phil's Facebook page and later recited by Phil and Robin McGraw on a television broadcast of the Dr. Phil Show. As I read the words written by Cameo Smith, of Mt. Wolf, Pa., tears streamed down my cheeks, and for the first time all week, I felt comforted as I imagined these beautiful children celebrating Christmas with the world's Savior.

It is my prayer that you also will find solace in these words.

"Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38 when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

Their smiles were contagious; their laughter filled the air.

They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy; they didn't know what to say.

They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.

"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.

"This is heaven," declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."

When what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Jesus, their Savior, the children gathered near.

He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.

Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

And in that moment was joy that only heaven can bring; those children all flew into the arms of their King.

And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace, one small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had, He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."

Then He looked down on earth, the world far below; He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.

Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,

"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!

"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools.

"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"

Then He and the children stood up without a sound,

"Come now my children, let me show you around."

Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran, all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight, "in the midst of this darkness, I am still the Light."

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