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I didn’t want to think about this, but I can’t seem to stop. So here goes. What happened last Friday in Connecticut was one of the darkest, most terrible things to come from humanity. I know there have been a million other tragedies just as dark and terrible throughout history, and, as a friend on Twitter pointed out, there are places not too far from home where acts of violence are a daily occurrence. I have been shocked, and I have been horrified at what humans are capable of doing to one another. But this may be the first time since Columbine that I have truly grieved over the loss. I put myself in the shoes of a mother in that community, and my heart breaks. There is no making this right. There is no explanation. The people who could have answered the question “Why?” are gone. Not that the answer would have been satisfactory, but at least there would be a place to direct our energy —– a cause to stand behind. If we knew what triggered this kind of behavior, maybe we could prevent it from happening again. But, as so many have pointed out, no matter what laws are passed, if someone has that kind of intent to harm others, nothing will be able to stop it. We might be able to limit it to some extent, but we will never be able to predict every move of every villain. So we fly our flags at half mast, and we hold our children a little more tightly — grateful that they are here, but also a little afraid, because we are reminded that terrible things can happen without warning to the most innocent among us. But this is the season of hope. Have you ever really listened to the third verse of “Joy to the World”? It goes like this: “No more let sins and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.” The curse referred to is the result of sin entering the world when mankind chose to stop listening to God. (Enter: darkness.) But even though he would have been justified in wiping out the earth and starting from scratch, God decided to redeem what he had made. The prophet Isaiah had this to say about the first Christmas: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Isa. 9:2) For now, we still live in a world where darkness exists. But the coming of Christ brought hope, and believers now look forward to His return when, according to Revelation 21:3, He will cast out the darkness for good: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”