Small Town Christmas

Small Town Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2012

When the World Makes No Sense ...

I went to school last Friday night for a middle school Christmas concert. It's the same school where Jill marched into the kindergarten classroom with a silly book bag so many years ago without a glance over her shoulder ...
... and where Brent proudly served a Mother's Day tea with his kindergarten classmates.
On Friday night, our school's commons area was packed with parents, grandparents and friends who came to watch the concert. It was an unusual Friday night. During most Friday nights this time of year, it's the gym that's packed with cheers as high school basketball players run up and down the court. The referee's whistle blows and the ball pounds the wooden floor, and cheerleaders lead the chant for "Defense!"

But, for some reason, there was no ballgame scheduled. Instead, with a December school calendar packed to the brim, it allowed the music department a chance to squeeze in a concert.

As I walked into the school Friday night, I saw the brightly-painted Christmas backdrop and the glittered snowflakes, and I thought, "This is what a school is supposed to be about."

This is what school is supposed to be: It's about three girls in reindeer antlers. It's about the three boys in full elf regalia who couldn't make it through their trio without cracking up. It's about a diminutive, 80-pound-soaking-wet Santa who didn't need the old guy's heft to flawlessly deliver the rhymed patter during the Cool Yule program.It was about those kids who weren't the stars of the show, but who just stood on the three-tiered risers and sang and danced along.

That's what a school is supposed to be on a Friday night.

It's not supposed to be a place for a candlelight vigil, mourning the deaths of 20 innocent children and six brave educators.
It's not supposed to be that way.
It makes no sense.
It will never make sense.

Those little children likely wouldn't have sung "Away in a Manger" at their school's Christmas concert. But I'm guessing that some of them would have dressed in cardboard angel's wings or pulled on their Dad's bathrobe and become the vigilant shepherds surrounding a short, blue-robed Mary and staff-bearing Joseph as they gazed down at a baby doll Jesus in a crude manger at their church's Christmas pageants this weekend.

These words come to mind as I try to wrap my head around this tragedy:
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
And love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven
To live with Thee there.

On Sunday at our church, two grade-school-aged boys, their parents and their cousin lit the third Advent candle. Here are some of the words they spoke:
Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I will say, rejoice.
Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4: 4-7
 We light a candle to help us remember that Jesus is near. The peace of God will keep us in Christ Jesus.
Prayers for Sandy Hook Elementary School ...
Prayers for Newtown, Conn. ...
Prayers for the heroes, some of whom lost their earthly lives ...
Prayers for the grieving families ...
Prayers for the survivors whose lives will never be the same ...
Prayers for the first responders and all the helpers ...
Prayers for our country ...
Prayers for the world in which Kinley is growing up ...
Prayers for us all ...

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Today, I am linked to Michelle DeRusha's Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday feature. You will be blessed to visit there and read thoughts from bloggers of faith from across the U.S. 

12 comments:

  1. What lovely thoughts...thank you. I came over from Michelle's place.

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  2. Pray for peace. Yes, that's what we can do when the world doesn't make sense. Thank you...

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    1. Peace to you, too, Lisa. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. I did not grow up in a family that hunted--but my father used to joke that he was sure that pheasants had calendars to know ahead of the date when hunting season was scheduled! My husband does not hunt either. However, we have family and friends who do, and most of them enjoy the game they shoot on their dinner tables. I respect that choice, just as I enjoy a good steak. However, in addition to prayers, if you think the right to bear arms doesn't require assault weapons or one hundred round clips for guns, please consider letting your state and federal representatives know that is how you feel. News reports say that many NRA members favor such legislation. I have not spoken to my friends who hunt, but surely we as a nation can do more to stop such horror than just offering our prayers and holding vigils each time this happens...and it seems to happen more and more frequently. Depression and mental illness are hard to recognize sometimes, but reaching out to families dealing with such problems is also important. This is an issue about which the compassion of each of us must be shared in constructive ways, and I apologize if my comment offends. But, like Kim, I am struggling with the senselessness of such tragedy, and we must do something.

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    1. Thanks for your comments, Lynda. I personally believe it has more to do with mental illness than with guns. I think I have fired a gun once in my life, so it's not that I'm a gun enthusiast myself. I see a lot of posts on Facebook and blogs that are pro-gun and an equal number that call for a ban on guns. I also see people say that this is the result of God being taken out of schools, and I don't agree with that, either. God is with us with every breath we take. He doesn't leave me at the door when I walk through the door to accompany at school. He doesn't leave teachers or students as they go about their school days. I wish there were easy answers, but I don't believe there are. Again, thanks for sharing your opinion.

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  4. I like your thoughts and prayers list today, Kim.

    It's not supposed to be that way and it will never happen here is what we think. The truth it tragedy can happen here. A few years ago there was a man who pulled a gun during open Court in a neighboring County’s Courtroom. No one was hurt, but the reality remains the same.

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    1. Thanks, Robyn. I don't think there are easy answers. As we are reminded too often, it can happen anywhere.

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    1. Thanks, Mrs. E. You gave me goosebumps last week when you posted about cleaning out your school closet and about your girls. Thanks for all you do for your students and in your community to make a positive difference. And thanks for raising two daughters who are doing the same.

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  6. I love all the beautiful picture on your blog! Recently, I have wanted to start an agricultural blog. My mom, Marilyn Giles, wanted me to check out your blog first. Would you have any helpful hints or precautions you could share with me? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Betsy - I'm glad you enjoy the photos. Taking photos is one way I like to "tell" the story I'm writing about that day, and sometimes the photos are the story. As you have probably discovered by looking at my blog, I cover a wide variety of topics - farm life, recipes, faith, family, etc. My philosophy about sharing what goes on at our farm is that I should tell the story of what happens on a real farm - not let HSUS or some other special interest group tell the story for me. During the three years I've been writing about farm issues, I've had a handful of times when I've had a commenter who disagreed with our use of herbicides or other chemical applications on cropland and those who don't believe farmers/ranchers should give antibiotics or other medicines to cattle. So you do have to be prepared for a little negativity. And, just like with any internet activity, I've had a few spam comments which definitely didn't fit into my personal philosophy on life.

      I would be glad to talk with you about the blog. You can call me at 620-486-3171. You can also email me questions at rkjbfarms@gmail.com If you send me your email to the email above, I would be glad to send you links to some other agriculture bloggers.

      Please let me know what other questions you have and how I can help.

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