I woke up this morning worried about having money for Christmas gifts, concerned about getting Christmas cards out in time. About getting Sean a birthday gift. We just paid for our new roof. We have a new home. The last six months have seemed like one major expense after the next.
Today at work we took part in the "Executive Elf Challenge," which brings local companies together to help wrap gifts for the needy.
The event is a friendly team competition. In my team's pile of gifts were three boxes of diapers, each for a different child. Not small toys, not a doll, not even clothes, but diapers. I had tears welling up as I thought of what this meant; a family so poor that the thing they needed most was so basic. I was grateful for the opportunity to help them, proud that I was helping wrap an important gift for a tiny baby.
And I quickly found myself saying a silent prayer of gratitude and thankfulness for the many things that my family has; my own worries from earlier in the morning having been rightfully put in to perspective.
Heading back to the office we heard the news about Sandy Hook, and the incomprehensible tragedy there. Parents that would never seen their precious babies again. Small children being frightened in a little town that seemed so safe.
These things stayed with me through the day. I was moved by President Obama's message, and his raw emotion over the tragedy.
As I drove home tonight, my heart began to fill with prayer. A prayer for the children, the families, the communities that had been met with tragedy. For the smaller, silent tragedies that hit poor families daily. The words rounded themselves out to a mantra in my heart. I could not shake the need to share them.
May the Lord lift us up
may He help shoulder the pain
may he surround us in Love
Our hearts are broken today.