Tag Archives: Current Events

Remembering Newtown

December 14, 2014

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Last week I lost my three-year-old son in the library for 60 seconds. If you are a parent, you know that when your child is lost, seconds are minutes and minutes are hours. A slow motion nightmare.

When I found him, his face was covered with tears, a panic on his face I’d never seen. “There’s your mom!” exclaimed the librarian, shaming me.

In my arms, his hysteria only heightened. I thought I lost you. I thought I lost you. I couldn’t find you anywhere! he repeated over and over again, tears streaming down his face.

“You can never lose me,” I lied. “I am always with you, I will never leave you. Nothing bad will ever happen to you.”

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Two years ago today, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School while the rest of us Christmas shopped and fought with our mothers. It knocked us over as a nation, as parents, as people who try to convince ourselves that schools are safe and people are mostly kind.

To be perfectly blunt, the sickness of it was almost too much to bear. Some of us turned off our TVs, changed the subject, kept Christmas shopping. Others of us were paralyzed with fear and grief. We couldn’t turn off the news or keep from repeating their names.

We wept for days.

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This past fall, my friend Suzie passed a mother putting her young son on the schoolbus for the first time. His frame was small, his backpack too big for his body. She watched as the mother said goodbye, holding back her tears.

She said, “It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen.”

Today we remember Charlotte and Daniel. Rachel and Olivia. We remember Josephine, Ana, Dylan, and Dawn. Madeleine, Catherine, Chase, and Jesse. James, Grace, Anne, and Emilie. We remember Jack and Noah. Caroline and Jessica. Avielle, Lauren, Mary, and Victoria. We remember Benjamin. We remember Allison.

We remember their lives, whisper their names.

In sorrow, may we find peace. In grief, some small joys.

We hold their families in the light today.

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When It Makes Everyone Else Look Really, Really Bad.

March 26, 2014

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It’s the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

-Mother Theresa

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I wasn’t going to write about it. I was going to let it go, push it out of my mind, let all the faith bloggers go to town and hash it out and say the same things over and over again.

But then I remembered the children.

Yesterday World Vision, one the the largest relief organizations in the world, announced they were changing their policy to allow the employment of LGBT persons. “It’s easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there,” said President Richard Stearns in an interview. “This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support. This is simply a decision about whether or not you are eligible for employment at World Vision U.S. based on this single issue, and nothing more.”

The response was not surprising. Progressive Christians high-fived and conservative ones did not. Some conservative Christians even pulled their membership. Wait, let’s make that thousands of conservative Christians pulled their memberships. Over 2,000 children lost their sponsorships in protest to World Vision’s policy of employing people in same-sex marriages.

It was all very dramatic. Progressives scrambled to raise funds for the lost memberships, but it wasn’t enough and 48 hours later World Vision reversed its position on their hiring policy.

“Nevermind guys, we crunched the numbers and don’t support gay people after all!”

It was a PR move from hell, but let’s focus on the real problem here: This is why young people don’t go to church. This is why people are annoyed when your Instagram profile has a Bible verse or your car has a Jesus fish. When folks literally take food out of the mouths of children because an organization may or may not hire a gay person, it makes the rest of us look really, really bad.

The Christian community is never going to reach consensus on gay marriage. That’s fine. This is not about gay marriage. This is about whether or not a child gets breakfast.

Three possible ways to respond to today’s news:

1) Write a reactionary, spite-filled blog post/Facebook status/tweet in support or opposition of gay marriage.
Pros: Retweets/Likes stroke our delicate egos.
Cons: Kind of annoying.

2) Do nothing.
Pros: Easy.
Cons: Predictable.

3) Sponsor a child. Compassion International, World Vision, and Heifer International all strive to improve the quality of life for children across the world.
Pros: Help someone other than self.
Cons: None.

And that is all I have to say about that.

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