Precious Gifts

In recent weeks I have been counting down “My Favorite Things” and sharing with you my favorite stuff from this world.  In light of this week’s tragic events, I will take pause, and focus on those things that are truly my Favorites and most important in my life.  For what is most important is not the material stuff, but rather family, friends, and my Faith.

Last week a senseless act of violence fell in my own community as a raged gunman entered Clackamas Town Center (CTC), my local mall.  CTC is only a mile from my home.  Although I am not much of a shopper, the mall is a central part of my life.  I was just there last week with my family.  The mall holds our local book store, my dentist’s office, the movie theater, and so many more conveniences we take for granted.   With a shooting so close to home, I am reminded that evil exists in my own community.  Reality unfolds….

Then- Friday’s massacre in a sleepy Connecticut town took so many of God’s angles, young and old.  Precious lives were ripped from this Earth much too soon.  It brings life into perspective.  Lives have been tarnished; families destroyed.

This is not a time for political discussion of gun control, violent video games, or this Nation’s growing mental health epidemic.  This is a time to focus on the blessings that have been bestowed on each of us, and making the most of the life we have here on this earth.

5533_1150390092606_8253317_nThree years ago, while traveling in South Africa, tragedy struck my own family.  I found myself 10,000 miles from home, holding my dying husband’s body in my arms.  As his life slipped away, I could only think of my young son, half a world away.  It was the thought of my son, and my undying love for him, that helped me gain the courage and strength to persevere.  One of the most precious memories I have is that moment when I was reunited with my son, months later.  I cannot begin to imagine the thought of losing him forever.  To hold him in my arms again provided me with a peace and love only a parent knows.  (*I am blessed to still have my husband here, but that is a long story for another day.)

A parent’s love is unmatched.  Tonight I hug my child a little harder, and a little longer before I tuck him into bed.  My heart is broken for so many mothers and fathers in the world that have been robbed of this experience.  They will have no more baths to give, lunches to pack, or school assemblies to attend.  Laughter and smiles have left their homes.

Through the pain and devastation, I pray the families affected by the tragedy of this past week are aware of God’s undying Love for each of them.  May the arms of our Lord wrap around our Country and bring us all comfort and peace in this Holy season.

2 John 1:3  “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”