Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. Most of the time, we are probably so completely unaware of most of this evil. We know it exists, but I don't think we know just how prevalent it truly is.
On Friday, my husband and I planned a 1/2 day family day. Of all the mornings, we chose December 14th to meet up for a few hours in the middle of his work day to take the kids to ride the Pink Pig (it's an Atlanta thing), see Santa, and have lunch together. We even ventured in a couple shops. We took pictures and laughed as the kids high fived Santa and wore their reindeer hats he gave them. Completely oblivious to what was going in the world at that moment, we had a very rare week day outing as a family. It was one of the best mornings I've had in awhile...morning where I actually just got to enjoy my sweet, precious little ones.
But, forever, my heart will think of this day differently when I look at the pictures below. Below is the picture of a family who was all together and enjoying the blessings that God has given us...each other. It is a picture of girl's dream to have a family of her own...and now she does. It is a picture of a dream come true.
But, now, I look at this picture and will always remember that at the moment this photograph was taken, too many innocent children were taken away from their mommies and daddies too soon. And my heart...oh how it aches for those families. Had those children gotten a picture with Santa this year? Did their mommies and daddies already have their gifts wrapped under the trees? Did those mommies and daddies have special days planned, like our day, full of Christmas activities for their little ones?
Last night, Andrew and I were putting together the Barbie house my parents got her for Christmas. She will be so excited to see it as it is one of only two things she has asked for (that and a Mermaid Barbie). The entire time we were assembling it my heart felt so conflicted...joy at how excited my girls will be to get this house...feeling blessed that my parents are always so generous...and then feeling the tears well up in my eyes while wondering if those mommies and daddies had toys already put together that they were so excited about giving their little ones.
To those little innocent children who are most definitely with our Lord and Savior, you will never be forgotten. For those mommies and daddies who will never fully heal and will always grieve this absolute nightmare, you must know that we will never forget you. We will never stop praying for you. And when I look back on this picture when I am old and grey, I will remember you and your little ones.
Our God is good. Our God is faithful. I do not understand His ways or why He allows such horrific things to happen...but, I know that He is the only one who can give these families strength to live.
"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world."
We will always remember this day. God heal the broken hearts. God, make your presence known to these families. And Lord, please show us how to pray for them and how we can be of service to during the wake of this tragic day.