One year ago, on December 14 the greatest moment of my life occurred.
My wife Lauretta and I welcomed our first children into the world.
Jack Adams Haugh and Blake Charles Haugh were born in the afternoon in the city of Paris at a French hospital to the most astonished and amazed parents.
The strongest emotions of love, joy, vulnerability, pride (and fatigued) overwhelmed us at times.
Like most parents today, within a few hours we turned on our phones and wanted to update Facebook.
Then we saw the tragic news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members in a mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the village of Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Facebook world, including all of our dear friends and family were in shock, utter disbelief and mourning that day. For ten years, I lived within a 20-minute drive of Newtown, CT and had colleagues and friends who lived in that town.
As brand new parents, something instantly changed within us and we experienced strong empathy and grief for those parents who lost their beloved sons and daughters.
Needless to say, our joy was and the world’s pain converged that day in our own hearts.
I wondered how God felt that day. I can imagine that throughout the course of each day people experience tremendous joy while others endure tragedy.
As a brand new parent, now celebrating our boys’ first birthday, I am taken back to Newtown and still cannot fully understand the pain those parents experienced and probably continue to experience.
While the Haugh family celebrates today with balloons and presents, parents in Newtown will use flowers to visit the graves of their babies.
Here at The American Church in Paris we have a community remembrance service as we stand in unity and solidarity over the loss experienced by that community and the world.
I pray for those families. Truly.
I pray they are able to find peace, healing and hope. I am not too sure how I would cope, but would hope that God’s grace would be sufficient.
If you have yet to watch this short video documenting the healing process of one particular family, I strongly commend it to you.
‘Evil Did Not Win’ At Sandy Hook: Video Celebrates Life Of Emilie Parker, A 6-Year-Old Victim