Let there be peace on Earth, good will toward all
The tragedy that unfolded just days ago in Newtown continues to cast a shadow over the celebration about to unfold.
Yet in small ways, healing has begun. On the Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, 20 beautiful wreaths appeared, as if by magic, each one bearing the name of a child slain at Sandy Hook Elementary School. A tiny stocking hangs from each one, a symbol of the hope of children the world over for the magic of the Christmas season and a bright future ahead.
The wreaths – guarded on each side by three crosses honoring the teachers and school officials who gave their lives trying to protect their students – appeared so suddenly that when a reporter called city hall to find out where they had come from, no one knew. No one even yet knew they were there.
It was not a city official or civic leader who built this memorial or even thought of it, but four friends, two of them brothers, who just felt in their hearts they had to do something.
They wanted to create a space where people could stop for a moment and reflect, perhaps to pray, for the innocents who perished. As one put it simply, “We wanted to do something good.”
In the same spirit, on Sunday evening, people came together on Lewes Beach, to light candles in memory of all the lives lost.
There is something deeply moving about these simple efforts, the impulse, even in the face of the most unspeakable evil, to bring people together to do good.
Some might even call it the spirit of Christmas, recalling that night long ago when a child was born, bringing hope for peace on Earth, and good will to people everywhere.
Let us hope that like the winter solstice, the darkest days of the year are behind us, and that the impulse toward good will embrace and guide all of us in the year ahead and always.