DECEMBER 14, 2012.

Last night Mom heard, “I don’t like the green stuff” and got mad.
Dad half-listened to a story about an art project while poring through email on his phone, looking for stock updates and watching SportsCenter.

Angry voices scolded and bottoms were smacked because:
He forgot to brush his teeth…
She pouted when it was time to go to bed.

Lights out…
Just one more drink of water.
Just one more hug.
“Just one more story, Mommy…
Can you tell Dad to come tuck me in?”

Just one more sleep.

They woke in a hurry.
Tired babies got dressed while searching for:
Socks, shoes, backpacks, hair bows… the Elf on a Shelf.

They ate cereal or pancakes or granola bars.

Parents prepared for the urgency of career, grocery shopping and weekend activities.

Kids were pushed out the door, to the bus stop or dropped off with a wink and a kiss – or not – and told to “hurry up… you’ll be late! I’ll see you tonight.”

But there will be no more tonights.
No more green stuff or “go to beds.”
No more bedtime prayers.
No more stories.
No tuck-ins.

There will be no more handprint Christmas trees or marshmallow snowmen.
The presents that were placed under the tree just a few days ago will remain unopened.

There will be no more Santa Claus.

Christmas parties will become wakes, funerals and the laying to rest of these children who now belong to each of us.

Babies born only to die.

Where is God in this? Where is His mercy, love and grace?

I can’t help but think about His child today…
Another beautiful, blameless baby born to die.

Our minds cannot comprehend.
Our prayers do not make sense.
Our hearts cannot forgive.

But that’s why He gave us His.

Heavenly Father, pour your sweet Spirit into these lives left wondering, questioning, breaking and bleeding tonight.

Come quickly, Lord.