Today, across this blog's readership area, every person has extra children ... not our physical offspring; in fact, they don't even live with us.
They now live in Heaven ...
They're the twenty children whose lives were senselessly snuffed out yesterday in what can only be called a brutal massacre.
No, they weren't our own physical kids -- in fact, we don't know all their names as I write this; but we hold them in our hearts as our prayers and emotions plead with the Almighty to bless and cherish each one who's arrived in His Presence since the shootings began.
These children were less than two weeks away from waking up on Christmas morning, running into the living room and, with joyfully-expectant spirits and twinkling eyes, checking under the tree to see what Santa brought them. Was it a new bike? Maybe they'd be lucky enough to get a video game?
But they won't have that opportunity now ...
and grieving parents have seen the Christmas season of 2012 -- one so full of joyous anticipation as they prepared for a wondrous time for their families -- become a time now indelibly etched into their lives, forever to be remembered as days of supreme tragedy.
Instead of praising the miracle found in the birth of a baby in a Bethlehem manger so many years ago, they'll be cursing the darkness found in the death of their child in a Connecticut school on 14 December, 2012.
And the parents, brothers and sisters of these fallen angels deserve to know that, whether we're scattered throughout the U.S./Europe or just down the street from them, we're there for them. They should know that we're here to pray for and with them, to help in any way we can (this includes with services or assistance, even if it's financial) ... to love them with a might that only everyday people like us -- not government or news agencies or whatever -- can give them!
Sometimes, the greatest Christmas gift you can give is of yourself. And, whilst you know that Christmases will never be the same for these people again, we can at least give them the gift of ourselves ... to let them know we grieve with them ... that we're there for them ... that, through the storm, they'll never walk alone:
Stay tuned ...