The identities of the victims who were shot at an elementary school in Connecticut have been released. I braced myself before going over the list. After reading these names, I read a thoughtful poem that reminded me of the words of Jesus,
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:2).
- Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)
- Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)
- Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)
- Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)
- Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)
- Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)
- Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)
- Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)
- Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)
- Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)
- James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)
- Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)
- Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)
- Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)
- Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)
- Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)
- Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)
- Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)
- Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)
- Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)
- Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)
- Dawn Hocksprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)
- Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)
- Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)
- Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)
- Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)
Twas 11 Days Before Christmas
Twas 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
they were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
they remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“this is heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”
when what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
and in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew into the arms of their King
and as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.
and as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”
then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”
(Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA)
Audio clip: Evil does not make sense