I checked the news when I woke up this morning and this headline blared out:
As we in North America go about our Christmas preparations, worrying about presents and parking spots, Taliban militants stormed a school in Peshwar, Pakistan.
According to Pakistani military spokesman, Asim Bajwa, it was “an assault that seemed designed purely to terrorize the children rather than take anyone hostage to further the militant group’s aims. Their sole purpose, it seems, was to kill those innocent kids. That’s what they did.”
Two years ago, almost to the day, Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, waving semi-automatic weapons and shooting 20 children dead.
Two completely unrelated incidents, yet both targeting the most vulnerable and precious of a community.
When I was a little kid, a part of me looked forward to being an adult. A real idealist, I naively assumed that once everyone grew up physically, they would grow up mentally and emotionally too. I thought that once people were in their 20s, or at least in their 30s, they would act like grown-ups: throw out their selfishness and put others first.
Maturity and kindness have nothing to do with age. Today on the news, I see grown men raging around with machine guns throwing tantrums and killing children. Yesterday I saw my 6-year-old son showing true bravery and kindness by standing between his little friend and a bully, taking hits so his friend wouldn’t get hurt.
As a mother, I ache for the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and grandparents in Pakistan whose lives are shattered by the loss of so many children.
As a mother, I say leave the kids out of it. Get your battles out of the schools and off the playgrounds.
As a believer, at this time of year, I say, Come O Come Emmanuel.