Before the March For Our Lives, My Son Asks a Question

“Why would someone want to kill kids?” – Henry, Age 6

Some people have so much hurt in their hearts they don’t know what to do with it. They don’t know where to put it. They don’t know how to get rid of it.

Maybe they’ve been abused. Maybe they’ve been neglected. Maybe they’ve suffered great losses, seen terrible things, been told to do awful things, and now their brains interpret the world as a threat – everyone is out to get them – everyone is against them.

Maybe they’ve never been told they’re loved, the way you are. Maybe they’ve never been told they’re a wonder, the way you are. Maybe they’ve never been told any of the ways they are worthy, adored, unique, terrific, a singular being in a world of other shining stars. Maybe they’ve only been told they are darkness, an idiot, worthless, nothing.

Maybe someone is lying to them about where they can find power. Where they can find justice. Where they can find release. Maybe someone has told them the best way to fight pain is by numbing pain, becoming pain, transmitting pain. Maybe someone has planted the seed that it might feel better if someone else felt worse. Maybe someone has told them that will prove their point. Maybe someone has taught them the religion of vengeance.

Maybe they’ve believed those lies.

Some people have so much hurt in their hearts they don’t know what to do with it. Maybe drugs will numb them. Maybe alcohol will make them forget. Maybe food and more food and more food will pad them from the pain. Maybe if they throw something it will unload the anger and hate. Maybe if they hit someone it will stop the rage inside.

They are angry, so angry, burning angry, violently angry, anger so hot it seers the wires of reason until reason is a tender blister and only this cold and calculated hardness remains: I feel powerless. I will end this. I’ll show them who has the power. They will see. 

My son, you are loved. My son, you are worthy. My son, you are a wonder. My son, you are adored, unique, terrific, a singular being in a world full of shining stars.

Know this. Not everyone knows this.

Those who do not know this are simmering, hurting, flinching, and fearful. They make terrible choices, inflict terrible pain, enact terrible change. They slaughter, steal, and destroy.

But because you are loved and you know you are loved, you have life. You have life abundant. You are a light bearer, a peacemaker, joy incarnate, carrier of a Spirit the world needs. Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly.

Perhaps through that love the hurting will see, and seek, and turn, and be healed.

 

Photo credit: Nancy Wasen

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