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Twenty precious children and 6 adults were laid to rest at the hands of senseless violence.  We may never get the true reasons or answers as to why this occurred.  Yet, twenty-six special people will not be with us this Christmas.

They all woke up, kissed their love ones good-bye, and went about their day.  For each and every one of them, history changed their life and the lives of their families and friends.  A community will never be the same, and the nation mourns with all of them.  Twenty-six did not show up at the dinner table that evening.

How do we honor the lives of these precious children who were snuffed out before their life could begin?  They will never have a prom night or college graduation.  They will never bring forth seed of children to carry on their family legacy.

Yet, we are left here to put the mess back together in our own lives.  We are left with a husband or wife who left before this holiday.  Some of us don’t feel like putting up the Christmas tree because there will not be as many gifts as last year.  Some of us are depressed because the holiday does not feel the same without the one we loved.  Some of us are too angry and hurt to deal with the drama of life. 

But these lives must be honored.  Their death cannot be in vain.  What do we do?  We may be in pain, but we still have blood in our veins to feel.  We may be moments from homelessness, but God has still provided a roof over our heads.  We still have children to fuss with and ex-spouses to complain about.

How do we honor the twenty-six?  By remembering that by the grace of God, we are still here.  We honor them by remembering that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  We still have an opportunity to put out lives back together.  We can still change our careers, or take up a new project. We may not be able to give our children everything they want this year, but we can still give a hug and say I love you.   We can tell ourselves, next year will be better because I will be better.   

Our Christmas tree may be slightly bare this year. Our hearts may still be broken.  Some of us may be hoping the holiday will go by as quickly as possible so we don’t have to feel the pain and loneliness.   Let us embrace the pain, and let us feel the loneliness.   If we can still feel, that means we are alive.  If we are alive, that means tomorrow we have an opportunity to make things better. 

Heaven ushered in twenty precious children to begin their assignment sooner than we knew.  But God has not forgotten us.  The gift of Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving.  The gift of love still abounds.  The gift of hope enables us to persevere, and the gift of life means if we just keep on breathing; we have a chance to turn our lives into major accomplishments. 

How do we honor the twenty-six this holiday season?  Let us remember that twenty-six angels are rooting for us from the gates of Heaven.  They are telling us to hang in there. By remembering they would gladly trade places with us at a moment’s notice, but since they can’t, they will root for us from where they are……in Heaven.  There lies the gift that keeps on giving.

God Bless You During this Holiday Season!!!

(originally posted by Dawnee)

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