This week was going to be a crazy week for me. I was headed to California for my winter shows, working remotely for my job while there, and of course staying on top of my schoolwork all at the same time. I wasn't sure how I was going to get it all done, but figured all I could do was my best.
I arrived at the Ontario airport at 11:40. It was wonderful to see my Mom and we headed to In and Out to get lunch and then headed home to Redlands. We heard something in passing on the radio about a shooting, but it didn't really register we were busy chatting and enjoying the fact that we were together. As we were headed home, traffic was unusually heavy on the freeway. We thought it might be an accident, but we finally saw that the freeway had been closed down...we mentioned to each other that maybe it had something to do with that shooting we had briefly heard about. When we arrived home, we were stunned to find out what had happened. The mass shooting in San Bernardino happened about 20 minutes from where my parents live. No one ever imagines something like this happening, much less this close to home. Our hearts were breaking for all of those who were involved in this horrible tragedy. I let my kids know that I was fine, and that we were 20 minutes away and that all had happened.
I then received a call from my friend saying that she had just heard on the news that there was now police activity in Redlands...I was in denial, I hadn't seen that on the news as I was frantically trying to pull myself and my stuff together to go and do my first show that night. It was Redlands. The terrorists who murdered and hurt all those people had lived in my hometown. As we went to go to my show...we couldn't go the way we normally go....the house was right there, the streets were blocked...less than a mile from my parents home. Just down the street from the house that I had brought my first baby home to. The world had changed again.... my wonderful hometown that has a wonderful sense of community, the town that I loved growing up in, love to come home to, and would love my children to experience all the culture it has to offer here...this town, is where they lived. I still can't believe it.
Throughout this whole thing I have said over and over again that darkness can not overtake the light, darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Now more than ever we must be that light unto the world. Truly there is no greater light than the light of our Savior and Redeemer. My son,, whose first home was just down the street from "that house" is serving a mission right now,. He is sharing the light of Christ. He is serving those in his mission, and by doing so learning to love them. He is fighting the darkness.
I want to do that better. I want to be a better light of Christ to the world. President Eyring said of his father in the talk A Child and a Disciple, "When he bore testimony, even those who rejected it knew it came not by design but because it was part of him. He was what he was, wherever he was. I want that to be me, I am going to strive to be a light unto the world. I will be a disciple of my Savior. I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that He loves me and has provided a way for me to come back home. We can all fight the darkness by being compassionate, kind, charitable, and simply by being good to one another. This is what Christ wants, and I pray that this is the legacy that we leave to our children....let's all be a light unto the world.