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An Advent Story

December 18, 2012

Drops of rain slide off the gutterless roof, splashing weakly on the red brick path in front of my home. It should be dawn, for it is 6:30 am, but the sky is overcast, the air is misty and foggy, and the sun cannot appear.

No one is stirring in the houses lining the street of this hill, nor is there a single orange tree to be seen on Orange Knoll. Across the street Christmas lights continue to twinkle. Shadowless palm trees sway gently in a cool breeze. the scene from my doorway could be a picture postcard of a quiet lovely neighborhood.

I await a tardy paperman to break the silence. His old truck will rumble up the hill as he throws his papers, first on one side of the street, then turning at the top of the hill and dropping three papers; the Times, Register and Journal.

The world is beautiful, muted and misty in the morning gloom. This is Camelot, where it doesn’t usually rain after sunrise. The morning sun does not fail to make an appearance.

The papers, dropping on the concrete driveway, break the silence. Before I pick them up I know they will provide more shocking details of the mass shooting of 6 and 7 year old children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut  on Friday, December 14. The funerals of the little ones have begun.

In a peaceful neighborhood 3,000 miles away on a cold crisp morning, a deranged shooter aimed his mother’s high powered weapons at little ones in a first grade classroom, killing twenty and their teachers. There was no warning, no time to pause, reflect or pray.

How can it happen? What cosmic purpose does it serve? Did the God who made the morning permit the carnage in the classroom? Will He greet the children, His angels, with Christmas toys and sugarplums? Can He heal the hearts or fill the arms of their earthly parents with the peace that surpasses their understanding?

I HOPE so. He promised His PEACE, puts JOY in our hearts, and fills the earth with LOVE.

HOPE, JOY, PEACE, AND LOVE are the entire story.

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