Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Light of Love -- The Preschool Nativity
We sat together in the front row - Luke's parents, sister, great-grandfather, aunt, and two sets of grandparents -- and watched the sweet faces of four-year-olds acting out the age-old story of the Nativity. Their teacher was at their sides -- coaching them with their lines and encouraging them. Some of them spoke so softly they could barely be heard, and others belted out their parts. Watching a tiny little Mary wrap the Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes was precious. They sang Christmas songs and then hurried offstage to the loving arms of their families.
Last year I sat in this same room watching my granddaughter, Alivia, play an angel in her Nativity program. There was only one difference this year -- as I looked at the innocent faces onstage, tears filled my eyes as I thought of the shooter who looked into faces such as these last Friday and shot them, point-blank and repeatedly. How and why could he slaughter these innocents???
I pushed these thoughts from my mind as the birthday party for Jesus began -- a long table of happy little children celebrating Christmas in their safe little preschool world, with loving families close by.
Great-grandpa and both sets of grandparents headed home with Luke to enjoy a "family lunch." It was a simple lunch -- soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream cones -- but to Luke and Emma it was special -- a gathering of people who celebrate each of them as individuals and who will strive to help them become the very best people they can be. They basked in the light of love at that dining room table -- the same light of love that filled the preschool this morning -- the light that was born on that long-ago Christmas morning.