When I was a kid, my biggest worry was getting home for dinner at 5 o’clock on the dot. After dinner, my biggest worry was making it home when that street light at the end of the block kicked on. I am sure my parents worried. But, back then, there wasn’t as much to worry about. We could have been 2 blocks up the road playing in a puddle of mud, or trying to set an ant on fire with a magnifying glass. Parents didn’t feel a need to “hover” over their children. Most places were safe.
It’s funny when I look back at pictures of childhood. It was so simple. My parents made sure that I didn’t carry their financial burden on my back. I had no idea what being “poor” was, and I didn’t need to. I didn’t always have the new shoes and clothes that my peers had, but I was always accepted by them. I was taught to respect others and most importantly, show love. For the most part, I felt that like was reciprocated back to me by others.
When I got married, I struggled with the thought of having children. I have always wanted a big family because I come from one. But when we would discuss children, a dread would wash over me. Now, this was not because I didn’t want them. It was because I didn’t want to raise my children in this world. How unfair! That a mother would even have to think this is just so appalling to me.
It’s 2016 and I feel like we have regressed back 50 years. Half of the time I feel like we are segregated. In light of recent events, I am just sickened by the hatred in this world. My heart breaks for the families affected by these hateful acts. I do not hold judgment because of someone’s skin color. We are all people, with hopes, dreams, and plans. We are all someone’s child, someone’s sister, someone’s brother, someone’s mother. There is no life on this earth that means more than someone else’s. But, in this world, people think differently.
I now have a daughter. She is 4 months old. She is a light in this dark world. When I look at her, I see hope. But, I also have fear. How will I protect her from the evils of the world? How will I send her to school without fear of someone hurting her? How will she ever learn to be independent if I am constantly checking with her to make sure she is okay? I don’t have answers to these questions. I am afraid I never will.
The only thing I have to lean on in this time is the word of God. In a time where we hate our neighbors, this verse speaks to me. Leviticus 19:17-18 “Thou shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the lord.” ESV
The only thing that I can proactively do for this world is shining my own light. I will teach my daughter to shine her light in the darkest of places. This may not be enough, and I fear for her and any other children I may have. I fear for your children, too. All of them. I pray we can come out of this bitter world, and change.
But for now, I do not want to raise my kids here.