Posted by: bree1972 | December 15, 2012

Heal Us. Help Us. Be Born Anew in Us. 12/15/2012

I NEVER get sick.  Never.

And so – on the weekend we were going to Florida for Christmas with the Hewitts and to watch Jordan in her dance recital – I could not believe it when I woke up Friday morning with a sore throat, headache and fever.

A few hours later I watched Ted pull out of our driveway with the truck loaded down with Christmas gifts, leaving depressed me and two ecstatically happy pooches (no kennel for them this weekend) to spend the weekend pouting about fickle fate.  Ted suggested waiting until Saturday to leave, but who knew if I’d be better or worse the next day.  If I was worse (which I was), Ted would have missed a whole day with the kids, and I still wouldn’t be able to go.

Knowing me as well as I know me, I would have eventually worked myself up into a pretty horrific case of “Poor Me Syndrome” – if the day had played out as I thought it would.  I would have lounged on the sun room couch, my lap covered by a blanket and Maddie, my fleecy-socks-covered feet propped up on Bear as he lay sprawled against the couch.  I would have sipped my lemon water, popped Coricidin and aspirin, and dozed off several times.  And that’s what I did most of the morning.

As I stood in the kitchen throwing together my lunch of berries and yogurt (I reasoned the cold combination would feel good to my throat), I clicked on the TV, thinking I’d find a Christmas music channel.  Instead, as I listened and watched in speechless horror, I saw what many others had already been seeing for several hours . . . the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded on Friday in the small, picturesque community of Newtown, Connecticut.

I am still speechless.  I find myself only able to watch and listen in very short pockets of time.  It’s just too horrible,  too sad, too maddening, too  . . . . evil to imagine, much less to know that it really happened.

Twenty beautiful little children and six adults walked into a school yesterday morning with the rest of their friends and colleagues, their minds full of everyday thoughts.  The children were probably thinking of the fun day ahead and that school would soon be closing for Christmas break.  They might have thought of their Santa Claus letters, the school Christmas program the night before, the special gift they were making or would buy for their Mamas and Daddies.  The adults could have been thinking of lesson plans, whether their Christmas shopping was done, what they were having for dinner that night.  All ordinary, mundane, everyday musings . . . but for those twenty-six souls, it would be last morning their minds would contemplate worldly thoughts.

Praying yesterday, last night, and this morning for the victims and their families and for the entire community of Newtown offered a little peace, but my mind remained mired and without real comfort.

And then I found this photo, posted on Facebook from the Trust in the Lord web site, and I was . . .

I was instantly at peace,  Every single one of those beautiful little children were now resting on Jesus' shoulder, held by His arms, sheltered by him and safe forever.

, , , instantly at peace, Every single one of those beautiful little children were now resting on Jesus’ shoulder, held by His arms, sheltered, safe and protected by him forever.

And then this morning I found this prayer, written today in the Huffington Post by one of my favorite Christian authors,  Max Lucado:

Dear Jesus,

It’s a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.

These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.

The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?

Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas.

But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.

Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.

Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.

This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.

Your Children

Thank you Mr. Lucado for saying so beautifully and honestly and precisely the words I could not find.  Heal us.  Help us.  Be born anew in us. 

And all God’s children say “Amen”.



  1. Amen….. Thanks for putting me at peace, too. It’s been a hard few days, but those innocent souls are now in the palms of His Hands! At rest and at peace.

  2. I hadn’t seen Max’s prayer though I loved the one he published after 9/11. I was at work yesterday and ended up streaming news from my phone all afternoon. Such a tragedy, but I’m sure the kids are all finding out what Christmas is like with Jesus right now.

  3. Amen…

  4. Brenda,

    Amen. Certainly we are praying for the families of all those who were so brutally taken from this life, but you are right, they are in the arms of Jesus at this moment and have no desire to leave the unspeakably wonderful blessings of being in the presence of the Lord.

    I’m also hoping that you’re beginning to feel a little better this evening and will be on the mend soon. In the meantime, treat yourself well, and it’s perfectly alright to feel a little sorry for yourself. Just don’t forget to count your blessings.

    • Thank you, Lowell. Actually worse today than yesterday – more fever anyway, so I’ve slept a lot. Wishing I was with Ted right now watching Jordan dance, but as you said, I’m counting my many, many blessings tonight.

  5. I have been praying for peace for those families and I posted this pic on my fb page earlier also. I would LOVE to connect with you via fb. : )

    • Susan, I would love that also. Please send me a friend request, and let’s connect.

  6. Brenda, I’m so sorry to hear of you being ill. Chicken soup is usually the main staple for that but I found watching “White Christmas” three times today helped me. It always makes me smile. Thanks for the Huffington post. It helps in the healing for me. In time hopefully also to those carrying the heavy burden of the loss of a loved one.
    Blessings to you and your family. Enjoy snuggling in with Maddie and Bear..

  7. Dear Brenda, (having awakened at 3 am Fri and up rest of the night discerning a message from a dream, I returned to bed at 9 am after getting Tom’s breakfast, as he went off to dr. & phy. therapy appt and slept til noon; we were out for Tom’s birthday lunch when I first saw the news); one birth celebrated, so many young, innocent lives lost to mourn; I’ve taken out a favorite penciled image of the little children gathered around Jesus, smiling and hugging them and burning a candle in front of them this weekend. I heard Max Lucado tonight. He states the truth: This is bad. Holding you in love and healing graces & companionship. I know Bear and Maddie will do their part to help you.

  8. I certainly could not come up with the words to express my feelings about this tragedy. Thank you for posting Max Lucado’s prayer. God be with them in Conn. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

  9. Thank you for posting this. It does make me feel better to know these babies & their teachers are in Heaven.

    This one hit me like 9/11 hit me. Not many events shake me to the core anymore. Guess I’m desensitized to all this world’s madness. Killing babies? Who in the world? Why in the world? Max’s words help. Every day that passes will help all of these families, including the family of that evil killer. They have to live knowing their son/brother/grandson did this. God bless them all.

  10. Bree, you’ll appreciate this story. Would love to raise/train/have a comfort dog or a therapy dog.,,20656736_20657586,00.html

    • Shoot, can’t get the link to post correctly. It’s an article on about Comfort Dogs. Reminded me of stories you tell about Bear.

      Trying again:,,20656736_20657586,00.html

      • Thanks for posting this, Andrea – the link worked for me. Those of us who work with our therapy animals know exactly what one of the ladies in this article talked about. In a waiting room outside ICU, when we step off the elevator, every head turns and for a moment, smiles take the place of vacant, sad stares. The touch of a cold nose and a furry body or head resting in a lap can make your troubles temporarily take a backseat to the unconditional love and comfort being offered. It is an awesome thing to behold.

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