Light in the Darkness

I heard a story, from one of the teachers who survived the CT shootings. She barricaded herself and her students in a bathroom. She told them they were waiting for the good guys to come and take care of the bad guys. Then she said something that caused tears to spill out of my eyes once again. She said that she took each child’s face in her hands and told each of them, I love you. She said she did it because she thought that they were all going to die violent deaths, and she wanted the last words they heard to be words of how much they were loved. What a statement. What a thought to have at such a moment. She did what we are all trained to do…protect the kids. But then she also followed her heart, and, I believe, the heart of God. She thought beyond the agonizing minutes as she spoke life and love into a dark and dire circumstance.
Our deepest longing as humans is to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. We were created for this purpose… to know and be known. This woman heard the enemy violating and forcefully taking that knowing away from students just outside the door. She did not want her students to die with confusion and rejection as the last thing they heard. She had an eternal perspective to nurture the spirits of those kids even as fear caused her to shake within. It took bravery and courage in the face of death, to choose life. The teacher and her students made it out alive, stepping over and around dead bodies as they went with their eyes closed. Death had a field day, but it didn’t get all the children. One day those kids will remember that moment of love in the midst of the most horrible day in their lives. One teacher made the difference for them by holding tight to love, and goodness, and life. To be such a light in the darkness…it is my prayer.

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