In church yesterday there was a Dad sitting a seat away from me. Right next to him was his little boy, around aged 8 I would guess. I couldn’t help but notice that when we stood to pray or sing, that Dad had his arm around his son……and not in a casual way, tightly…….like he didn’t want to let him go. In fact, everywhere I looked, I seemed to see people holding their kids a bit closer. The question keeps framing itself in my mind…….How can we best honor to these children too soon gone?
The parents will be going through a horrific memorial service today, and it will be unspeakably sad. But the truth is, they will need our support much more in the months and years to come. When all the shock has worn off. I know this. They will need the support of friends and family. They will need to talk about how wonderful their kids were…….even when it makes others uncomfortable. By letting them talk, letting them remember, we honor the special light that belonged to their child and their child alone.
And we need to keep going and never give up, for them. They would want us to keep standing up for what’s right, and to never stop fighting that battle. Being light in a dark work is the most important thing we can do for them, and for our own kids. We need to be the answer for them, and the answer always holds hope
Most of all, we need to keep enjoying life, as they were surely doing their last hours on this earth. The excitement of Christmas hung in the air at that school. I remember that feeling oh so well. I remember the Christmas concert we gave, and the big reindeer I got to decorate with red, green, and blue glitter when I was about their age. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. And I think my parents did too. My Mom didn’t even mind the glitter that fell off everywhere that thing went.
If their voices had not been silenced by evil, I could imagine them saying to us all……..”Don’t be sad.” Kids hate when people are sad. And they are very happy now.
They would say, “Let’s go outside and play.” And they would teach us to run and jump in puddles and remember how that felt. They would teach us how to love all over again. Yes, the best way we can honor them is to honor the kid still inside us and be a beacon of light in a world that can be very dark sometimes.
It was a good day yesterday……and it felt good to have a good day.
Sitting at Cost Plus sipping my tea, I glanced at my phone and saw that I had a new voice mail from my brother’s phone. It was my niece and a big goofy smile spread across my face right there and my heart melted when I heard: “Hi Lowwie, C’mon call me kay…..call me Dad’s phone, Daddy’s phone….thank you, bye.”
And I never ever want to erase it. I want to freeze her innocence forever. I also thought of the kids, whose innocence was taken and yet now is perfectly preserved in Heaven, where nothing but innocence and love live on.
I called her back and we had a conversation in which she told me about her “babies, and baby kitty and Mima…..” and how we are going to have a party when I get there.
And later, as we made Christmas bags for the kids on Elaine’s route, her kids she calls them, I thought of those kids again and how right it was to be doing that for them.
So today, I will carry on and treasure the kids in my life, and yours. I will have a good day and do kid things and continue to shine the light of love whenever I can and hold out the hope that we always have in Christ.
To honor them.
And to honor Him.