My husband and I were just talking about the sad events of the last week. I mentioned that somone was in custody from the shootings in Dallas. My ten-year-old overheard the word custody.
Mom, did they catch the guy who burnt the churches?
No, not yet.
Oh, was it the terrorists? Did they catch the terrorists?
Um. No, that was something else.
Wow. There are a lot of them running around loose right now.
And she went back to reading her book.
Yes. Yes my dear. There are lots of people right now caught up in all kinds of anger and hate.
Honestly part of me wants to rail and yell and kick and write snarky comments on posts that don't line up with my personal talking points. I am mad that my children know about arson and terror and snipers and racism. I'm depressed that my daughter took it all in stride. What kind of world are we living in that a ten-year-old is momentarily sad but not at all shocked at the news?
Mostly I'm heartbroken for the moms this week having to tell childen that their father is not coming home. I do not presume to know what those mother's are going through. I don't know what it is like to send my spouse to work in a uniform that could get him killed. And I have never had to talk to my girls about how to deal with the people who judge them based on the color of their skin. Since I do not know I am not going to say how they should respond.
However. I do know that in total my anger makes the world worse. When I yell or honk or snap - others around me spiral that direction. I really don't want to raise kids that make the world worse. And so as simplistic as it sounds I choose love.
I am going to hug my children. I am going to tell them about Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi and Mother Theresa. About how the world changed because they refused to hate. I am going to read them the words of Jesus about loving your enemies and visiting those in jail and respecting the authorities. I am going to deliver cookies. Never underestimate the power of cookies. I am going to thank anyone I see in uniform. I am going to forgive those who hurt me even when its repeated. I am going to pray. I am going to stand in my neighborhood and speak up when people are hurt or hurting. I am going to listen respectfully when I don't agree. I am going to assume the best and smile at strangers.
What about you? Better or worse? The ten-year-olds are listening.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
Sign up to receive Mindy's Quirk-E-Mails