December 21, 2012

Peace on Earth, Good Will To Men

A week ago I woke up and turned the news on while I got myself and the girls ready for the day.  Within a few seconds I had learned that something terrible had happened in an elementary school in Connecticut.  Someone had come into the school, opened fire, and killed 20 children and 6 adults.  
I spent the morning crying--wondering who could be so far removed from feeling that they would harm innocent, little children; wondering how scared those poor babies must have been; feeling a fraction of the heartache that I'm sure consumes the parents of those precious little lives taken.  I hugged and hugged and kissed my little girls all morning long.  
What is this world coming to when taking our children to school is no longer a guarantee that they'll return to us safely at the end of the day?  The thought crossed my mind that I wish I did not have to raise my children in such an evil and cruel world.  The words to the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" came to mind:

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said.
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men."

After getting the girls ready, we spent the rest of our day baking bread to raise funds for my beautiful sister who is battling cancer.  The turnout of volunteers was amazing.  The work put into organizing the event was so impressive.  In the end, we baked over 1100 loaves of bread and 42 pans of sticky buns! 

(It really was the most delicious bread I've ever had in my life!  No joke.)

At about 3pm on Friday and after 3 days of bread-baking, people began to show up to pick up their orders.  Friends spent their entire evening delivering loaves of bread in Anchorage and Eagle River.  People left $100 tips.  An anonymous donor gave $500 into the Paypal account.  I saw someone leave a check for $1000 after she had baked bread for 2 days with us and picked up her own order for bread.  In the end, we raised over $13,000 dollars for Hanna.  The support and love for Hanna was amazing and I found myself fighting back the tears.  People are so generous, so willing to give of their time, money, and talents.  As evil as this world can be, there are so many good, good people still in it.  So many people with charity--the pure love of Christ--who jump at the chance to love and to give.  My children are probably too young to understand the acts of love that were shown to Hanna last week, but I want them to be surrounded by experiences like these (and not just at Christmastime) so that they can see the goodness in this world, so that they can see how our Heavenly Father still works through his angels on earth to feed the hungry and succor the weak.  

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."
God bless the families affected by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, and God bless the many, many people who have served my sister and restored my faith and hope in "peace on earth, good will to men".  Best gift I could hope to receive this year.
Merry Christmas, everyone.


Casey and Tami Parry Family said...

Great post Holly!

Taffy and Tony said...

There IS still so much good in this world! I'm so glad the fund raiser went so well. Thanks for posting.

Cameron VSJ said...


I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?



Holly June said...

What is your e-mail address?

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