I had written earlier and deleted it.  My tone had a harshness not warranted and it really only came from the sadness of the day, a sadness that ruled the thoughts of everyone around me.

I wrote yesterday of peace in the city and the holy mountain.  Yet today there was no peace and only harm.  That so many of the young could be taken from us, that someone could fail to see the image of God in the faces of children….these things I could not understand.

I went to the department holiday party and it was subdued.  It would have been anyway, but the nation’s tragedy added to this.  I did not have to offer a toast this year and I was glad of that for I could not think of anything to say.  And it is not that I am called on so much to do such things anymore anyway.  The department has lost any favor it has had with my “voice.”

I returned to my office and thought of everything yet to be done.   I was glad to have my hectic schedule, though I really contributed nothing in the way of work.  My mind was still on all those young lives.  Walking home I thought of all they would not know and how much I would have given to take any one of their places.  None of these would ever  know the extent of how joyous this life could be and how wistfully wonderful this world is.  And then I thought of their parents now living with ruined Christmases and shattered lives.  At least in their children, they had seen the face of God.  But they also have the pain that never goes away.

I thought of my wistful and joyous moments.  I thought of Marina’s, but I also thought that the young can never have all those beautiful things that come with maturity and I thought how much I hope there is a heaven.

It is coming up on Christmas.  Though this year possesses little of the wonder of years past, I was still looking forward to it.  I still am, but I think too much of those who will not know it again on this frail earth, though I pray they will know it in the garden of the LORD.