On Friday morning, I was headed out to do some Christmas shopping. On my way to the mall, a CNN headline popped up. It read something like this:

Police arrive on the scene of a Connecticut school shooting

Sadly, I didn't really give it any real thought other than: "Another shooting?! Geez." That alone is disturbing to me looking back on it. How far have we come from the days of Columbine??

As I strolled through the mall with my two boys while waiting to meet my mom, my husband (who was in Cleveland at the time) started sending me a series of text messages. Each one worse than the next:

Turn on the news
Over 20 dead in CT school shooting
An elementary school
Give Pally (his nickname for Carter) a hug for me

That last statement alone told me he was really disturbed by whatever he was seeing on tv. As the day went on, more information poured into my phone... but it wasn't until late that night after getting my boys to bed that I wept. And wept. And wept. 

For those poor little, innocent babies.

And the brave souls who gave their lives protecting them.

For their families. Especially the moms and dads who would never hear the sweet voice of their little one again.

For the other children in that building who will, no doubt, forever be traumatized by what they experienced.

For the first responders. God only knows the sights and sounds they encountered that morning. Carnage that no person should ever have to witness. 

And also for the perpetrator of these crimes. Because how far into darkness do you have to go in order to commit such heinous, evil acts?

With each passing day and each new news report, I am reminded of how broken our world is. Yes, our gun control laws need to be seriously reevaluated. And yes, our mental health system is completely dysfunctional. But we, as people, are broken and lost and in need or someone to save us from ourselves. 

And that's when it hit me. This tragedy came less than 2 weeks before Christmas (which is a tragedy in itself), but what a powerful reminder that there is someone who came to save us from ourselves and the depravity of this world. The Advent season is all about waiting and celebrating the birth of a Savior. And because of that we can have hope. 

Long lay the world
in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared
 and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope
the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks
a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees,
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born!
O Holy Night
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven
and earth of naught
And with His blood
mankind hath bought.
Noel Noel Noel Noel!
Born is the King of Israel!
The First Noel
"And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment."
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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