Between the continuing updates and new information surfacing about the child abuse scandal at Penn State or the still fresh tragedy in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, I wonder how we are supposed to make trusting decisions for our children. A parent wouldn’t think twice that their son would not be safe at football camp.
Maybe they would worry about a broken leg but certainly not being exposed to a sexual predator. My own 20 year old daughter, who loves movies, was caught up in the excitement of the premier of the Dark Night Rises. It never occurred to me that she may not be safe as she attended the midnight showing at our local theater.
How do we trust sending our children out in the world? Our trust is not in the world. Our trust is in God. We trust that God is with us. God shows up in the people that fill the sacred spaces in our lives. God gave us each other – to listen, to care, to grieve and to celebrate great joy together. We are not alone and should not be alone. We should not build a fortress. It is in the trusting that we stay open to all the goodness that God created in this world. If you listen long enough into the newscast, you will even hear stories of community, triumph and compassion.
It sounds cliché, but the world is changing. The world has always been changing. How do we keep up?
Well…here’s my plan:
1. Remind myself of God’s love for me and all the world. It’s not complicated. God loves.
2. Listen (deeply and intentionally) to my own daughter and other children. Pay attention for when they reach out for help.
3. Talk to trusted friends so that when I am overwhelmed, I stay connected.
4. Listen to all the news. Yup. Hiding my head in the sand will not help. I want my heart to ache when children are shot on the streets of Chicago. I should strive to understand decisions that our elected officials make that exclude some to the freedoms of our country. I need to get angry when justice is not afforded to all people all over the world.
For now that is my plan. Trust. Love. Pay attention.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.