I do not know about you but as a parent I am fully aware that my children watch me and absorb how I handle things. Many times I would like to wipe their memory of my reaction from their little minds. But I am human and do, and will continue to, make mistakes. However those have also been learning experiences for them. I will admit my error and share that with them.
Having daughters I am keenly aware as to the pressures they have or will feel from society towards what they should be, do, wear, say, etc. My focus is on them learning who their are in God’s eyes. It is so freeing to know that God has a plan for each of us and that if we keep those lines of communication open, making sure the Spirit is a very present tenant, we are guided on that path one step at a time.
Where am I going with this? Well, knowing they will watch my reaction and wanting them to be secure in who they are in Christ I chose to talk to them about recent world events. Knowing that the evil actions in this world would be revealed to them one way or another I wanted to have the first word. I told them that unfortunately there are people filled with so much hate that they believe the right thing to do is to hurt others in order to express their opinions or to get what they want. Our oldest asked me if these people could come and hurt us in America. Enter the challenge. I did not want to lie but at the same time I wanted to answer in an age appropriate way.
“Yes, honey, they could. Unfortunately they have. You’ve heard of some bad things happening on September 11, 2001. But, sweetheart, it happens in other places in this country with people who are Americans doing the bad things.”
I could see there was fear in my daughters’ eyes. So God, right then and there, gave me these words. “Life is like crossing a road. When you cross the road you do not just run across without looking both ways because that is just not smart. You look both left and right and then you cross. If you choose to stay put you miss the fun and the ‘what if’ of the other side of the road. It is okay to be afraid. But we can’t let that stop us from enjoying life and helping others enjoy life. We need to be responsible and be aware of the world around us while at the same time crossing the road.”
Our family has talked about how broken this world is and how it will not be made truly whole until Jesus comes again. Having said that we still can take action to make it a better place. The best way is with love. This is our mission, to share the love Jesus himself gave and still gives today.