It's hard to get past last week's school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
While most people decried the inexplicable attack on innocents, one Christian spokesman said God didn't stop the gunman and protect the children because America has kicked him out of school.
Some people called for gun control. Others called to arm teachers. Some called for anyone with a hint of being different to be locked up immediately. Others called for more help for those with mental illness.
But mostly we grieved. Grieved for strangers we'll never meet. Grieved because no one has a real clue about why it happened and how to keep it from happening again.
As we get closer to the holiday where we celebrate the birth of Christ, I hope that we can focus on the things he focused on: compassion, kindness, and adherence to the idea that everyone has value and that even the worst of us can be redeemed. I'm not even a believer as defined by organized religion, but I like what he said. I like how he allegedly lived.
Maybe we can hope -- some of you can pray -- that we can get back to some of that in the days and months and years ahead.
In the meantime, I'm celebrating how eager Alison was last week to give up some of her books to a toy drive at school; how excited she is to share some homemade treats she made with neighbors and family; and that Jeff and I will give a meaningful contribution to people in need this week.
Our little contributions aren't going to save anyone's life or keep a gun man at bay, but it's something. It's a start. And a start is better than standing still.