This week I struggled…
You see the senseless tragedy of Wednesday, February 14, 2018, known as Valentine’s Day and the celebration of Ash Wednesday for Catholics and Christians around the world, is now a date where countless of families will remember the loss of their child, their loved one.
The irony of both, Valentine’s Day, a holiday of love, appreciation, and endearment and Ash Wednesday, a day of peace and repentance, has now been overshadowed by the hurt and brokenness of one young man. He was broken and unnoticed. He was broken and in pain.
He was broken and somehow no one cared.
We as a society only want to deal and relate and socialize with what’s whole, beautiful and loveable. We don’t look around and see all the broken souls that are unloved, uncared for and are driven to kill.
We don’t want to engage that broken child, it’s too much trouble.
When was the last time we stop to ask someone “are you okay?”, “how are you today?”, “do you need anything?”
I have not stopped thinking about the great loss of humanity. The families whose new normal is a painful, unbearable, grief-stricken reality. These families will never be the same, they will never be able to imagine, dream, hope, hug, kiss, laugh with the child they lost.
I’m tired of the rhetoric. I’m tired of the conversations. I tired of the TV commentators, the TV specials, the Town Hall meetings. We must stop talking and take action. Yes, these killers are undeniably mentally ill, but their weapon of choice is never a knife, but a gun. We must stop pretending as if guns are not the problem. We must stop pretending that we are not killing our children, hundreds upon hundreds of children where it’s supposed to be their safe environment.
I have come to accept that I have stopped being a responsible parent. You see, each time I send my son off to school I have no guarantee that he will return. I have no guarantee for his safety. I’ve come to accept I am putting him in harm’s way and that makes me an irresponsible parent.
Their new normal alongside the fire drill, the earthquake drill, is the active shooter drill.
Those students went to school with hopes and dream, they were unbroken. They were full of aspirations and confident in knowing they are loved. Yet, it took one broken soul to change the trajectory of their families.
It took a broken life, to break the unbroken.
I learned very early in my life to pray before I set foot out the front door. It’s a tradition I still hold today with my grown sons. I guess my mom knew something back then that has manifested itself today. That each moment is not promised. That each day is a gift. That we will encounter many broken people in our lives, but we must choose not to be broken.
Take a look around, someone is waiting for you to ask them “are you okay? How are you today? Do you need anything?”
Our world is broken, our children are broken, our system is broken.
We must do better!
We MUST begin to care!