I remember the dream I had when I first saw my daughter Soleil. I do not know where I was but everything was white. I was walking along a ten foot green hedge on my right hand side, as far as I could see. Eventually there was either an opening or the end of the hedge. When I turned the corner, I saw a woman and a little girl. I called out, “Soleil!” and the little girl turned towards me and ran into my arms, yelling, “Daddy.” That was the first time I met my daughter. It is the reason Soleil was given that name. In some strange and mysterious way that I will never understand, I feel like I knew her before she was born. And I will never forget her name.
As the details of the shooting in Connecticut continue to emerge, I want to encourage you to pray for these families. I suspect that the fathers, like me, will never forget their children or their names. They will never again experience the joy that comes when your child acknowledges who you are and embraces you unconditionally. They will never again experience the unrequited love and trust that their child gives them. But this does not mean that they will forget them. Pray for these parents. Pray for the brothers and sisters. Pray for these families and that town. I found this list of names of the children and adults lost and felt that the least I could do was to give you their names, so that you could pray for their families. These are the names of the 20 children and the 6 adults killed in the Newtown Shooting yesterday:
Charlotte, 6; Olivia, 6; Ana, 6; Dylan, 6; Madeleine, 6; Catherine, 6; Jesse, 6; James, 6; Emilie Parker, 6; Jack, 6; Noah, 6; Caroline, 6; Jessica, 6; Avielle, 6; Benjamin, 6; Allison, 6 Daniel, 7; Josephine, 7; Chase, 7; Grace, 7; Victoria Soto, 27; Rachel Davino, 29; Lauren Russeau, 30; Dawn Hocksprung, 47; Anne Marie Murphy, 52; Mary Sherlach, 56.
When we pray for these families with reference to the innocent (i.e. Charlotte’s family; Olivia’s parents, etc), I believe we stand in solidarity with our Creator as He mourns the loss of the innocent. He who created the universe and the stars in the sky, and who knows them by name, also knows these children and their families (Isa 40:26; Psa 147:4). God’s hands made them and fashioned them (Psa. 119:73; 139:13; Isa. 44:24).
Now you know their names.
Pray for these families, by name, in the name of the innocent Son who was slain: Jesus, our Messiah.