By Jennifer Debenham
Yesterday I effectively ignored the news--not out of disinterest, but because I was so heavily occupied with working with my sisters to put on a dance recital for our family's dance studio. It has been all-encompassing work and has offered us little free-time for several days. Our theme was Winter Wonderland, and, as is so often the case this time of year, the music was upbeat and the dances were joyful. It really was a celebration of life.
Still the tragic Connecticut news could not escape my attention. Heartbroken women pondered it in the halls at church today as well as in our Relief Society lesson. I was grateful, however, that in most cases a feeling of hope and love prevailed amidst such a horrible tragedy.
This afternoon, when I finally had a moment to turn on my computer and catch up with some of the sad news, I was touched by the stories of teachers and administrators who exhibited great heroism in protecting their students and of parents of victims who forgave and reached out in sympathy to the family of the shooter.
In the face of tragedy or other trials, it is so comforting to me to witness the goodness within the human heart. And how comforting also to know that our Father in Heaven is mindful of us at these times as well. Of course, He is always mindful of us, but sometimes it takes horrible tragedies like this to make us equally mindful of Him. As one sister in church said today (summarized): "Heavenly Father's Spirit will be poured out upon that community for a long time to come, and those people will be able to come together in love and understanding in ways that would not otherwise be possible. They will be blessed through this, and healing will come to those who seek it."
My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost loved ones. I have felt a little ashamed that I have not been more aware of their sadness and heartache because my own life has been so encompassed in happy busyness. But upon further reflection, I realized that perhaps having a celebration of life, featuring children, might be just the thing after all.