There is a little girl named Kaitlyn.
She lives only a few miles from us.
She is beautiful.
She has captured the heart of so many.
She is sick, very sick.
You can read all about her story if you click the link under her picture.
Tonight her neighborhood had a second candle vigil for her.
I attended the first one with a friend who lives down the street from Kaitlyn and her family.
It was silent, prayerful, tearful.
This time, I took my kids with me since Brian was out of town.
Earlier today I showed Zachary Kaitlyn's website and picture.
I told him about her and asked if he would like to go to the vigil.
Then he asked, "Will the candles make her feel better?
Can I sing; 'Jesus please help Kaitlyn?'"
I held him tight and said,
"Yes, Zachary, all those things would be wonderful
and will help Kaitlyn feel better."
So on our way to the vigil, I talked with Zachary about what it would be like.
I talked with him about standing quietly,
saying prayers and sending Kaitlyn loving thoughts.
And that is what happened,
Then there was the cat.
Our friend's cat, actually.
All the kids wanted to pet him and chase him.
They started talking and playing with the cat.
Then Kaitlyn's dad came out with her little brother, Cole.
Cole loved seeing the other kids,
and the kids loved Cole.
Then the laughter started,
and the running,
and the chasing of the cat.
At first, I kept trying to get Zachary to stop and settle.
And then I heard the whisper in my ear.
It told me to let them be,
to let them laugh and play and smile.
It was the most amazing vigil I have ever been to.
Amidst the sadness and heartbreak,
I heard Jesus whispering,
"Don't forget that I am here.
I am holding Kaitlyn in my hands.
I will not let her go.
Allow yourselves to grieve and be sad,
but remember that I am the Light of the world,
The light that no darkness can overcome.
So don't forget to smile and laugh and feel joy.
For I make all things new.
And Kaitlyn will be made new,
she will laugh and play and smile and chase cats.
Find hope, find peace and find joy in me,
for I am here."
I heard it so loud and clear.
The kids were living it right in front of us.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again; Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.
do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
And I can't stop thinking about it.
The vigil was not what I thought it would be tonight,
Instead, it was exactly how it was supposed to be.
Kaitlyn's Candle in her window
Dear Kaitlyn, Deanna, Chip and Cole,
may you know that Jesus is with you,
holding you, grieving with you and promising you
You are so loved.