Monday, December 14, 2015

the gift of the day before

One school bus down.
Two more to go.
The last, will be the hardest.

And then....when all of the kids are in school...then what?

Everybody will spend today the best way that they know how.
For me and my family, we will live out today as any other God given, blessed to have, ordinary day.
We will pack lunches, and get on buses, and go to school, and make dinner.
I will go to Mass, I will run my Bible study meeting, I will walk the dog, I will take the time to pray.
I will go with my children to religious education, I will watch my son play basketball.
I will bake.
We will all gather back under one roof tonight.
We will snuggle on the couch.
We will most likely eat ice cream.
We will probably fall asleep on the couch.
We will live.
At least, this is my plan.
But in the back of my mind, I am very well aware...I am on God's watch.
Only He knows what my day will really look like.
And I give it to Him.
Sometimes willingly, sometimes with hesitation, but none the less, I open my hands, and I offer them to Him.

I accept all, Jesus.
Please Lord, have mercy on me.

Truthfully, the harder day for me was yesterday.
The day before.
December 13.
The day we went about life as so normal, as so un-extraordinary, as just another day.
The calm before the storm.
The Holy Thursday of Sandy Hook.
This "day before" is painful to reflect on, and yet... it is a gift.

Because this is what those 20 beautiful children and 6 awesome teachers have done for us-
the have gifted us with the day before-
they have given us reason to hope-
they are a constant reminder (not just a 12/14 reminder, but a daily reminder) that we are nothing but dust, and we do not know the hour we will be taken home-
these Saints of ours?
they keep us looking up.

Three years ago, I did not consider my actions today, and what it would mean for tomorrow.
Three years ago, I did not live my life on earth so that I could get to heaven, but I lived it on earth so that I could have the best of things, here on earth.

20 children and 6 teachers taught me that what matters here on earth doesn't matter at all in heaven.

Lord, have mercy on me for living so much of my life with eyes so blind.
Thank you for yesterday, and today, and what ever your plan for me is.
Keep my eyes open.
Fill my heart with your love and mercy.
Show me how to be mercy to others.
Thank you Jesus.

Sure, it is a hard date to look at.
It is impossible, having lived that morning three years ago, to not allow your mind to re-live it today.
To not zip up coats, and put snacks in bags, and wave to the bus driver, without remembering; without wondering what is in store for this day, will there even be a tomorrow? My children are bigger now, hair longer, missing front teeth have grown in, voices a little deeper.  And yet this morning, I will look at them, and see babies. I see the babies that for some reason, were spared; the babies I still get to hold.

Lord  have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

You know, it is all in God's hands.
Always has been.
And always will be.
We do not know.
But we have right now...the day before tomorrow...
and we have 26 lights burning so very bright above us-

26 fireworks of color and sparkles, butterflies and horses, music and dance, animals and paint brushes and baseballs, beaches and sea shells, shades of pink and purple, the brightest lights you could ever imagine...and they are dancing through the sky, shedding light all around us, swinging on stars and running over the moon, painting the sky and shining upon us, begging us to grab just one small tiny spark...and to light up the world.

Let us light up this world.
Let us not live in fear but in hope.

we are never in the dark-
we have no choice but to look up.