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How to love a child

Sally - Hands

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

I wrote the first draft of this article in 1999 as a way to deal with the overwhelming grief I felt as I watched the current news unfold. At the time I had four children six and under and was watching parents all around me…emulating the successes and seeking to learn from the mistakes. I have always had what my husband calls a morbid fascination with crime stories; while I have learned that it is better to avoid immersing myself in studying every aspect of tragedies, I willingly admit that I am still drawn to these accounts. I am drawn to them because I have a desire to understand human beings and the choices they make. I am drawn to them because I love to look for the beauty in the midst of tragedy: the stories of sacrifice, survival and hope. Most of all, I am drawn to them because I believe that somewhere, somehow, someway we can learn valuable lessons. I know that the hearts of men are easily corrupted, but I also believe in the goodness of humanity. I will never stop believing that we can make a difference one soul at a time. We can see the beauty of God’s handiwork as souls turn toward Him and choose good over evil. It is with these thoughts in mind that I ponder the lost souls that fail to value human life, that do not remember their creator, that take the lives of others and die in infamy and shame.

Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

After the tragedy at Columbine (April 20, 1999), the parents of one of the accused made the poignant statement, ‘We loved him as much as we knew how to love a child.’ Something about those words, out of the mouths of the grieving parents of a mass murderer, tore at my heart strings. I’ve never forgotten them and I’ve pondered them over the years. I even looked at the pictures they released to the press of a happy child in his mother’s arms. An innocent baby turned mass murderer. Senseless tragedy. Unimaginable grief.

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