Weeping for the Kids

Just down the road from us on Memorial Drive is a big apartment complex. It’s one of the tallest buildings in that area and is flanked on one side by the Marriott and another by a gas station. It’s steps away from RiteAid Pharmacy and Whole Foods; just across from the river.

I don’t know how many families it houses but my guess is it houses a lot — a diverse group that includes immigrants, refugees, and those who have lived in the area a long time.

Last night the 11 pm News focused on the building and the Mobil gas station beside it. Another young man from my kids’ high school was arrested in connection to the Boston bombing and he lives in this building.

This kid is also 19. This kid is also an immigrant, this time coming from Ethiopia. This kid is also an American citizen. This kid is also a kid. 

He tampered with evidence and now faces jail time for up to eight years.

And I can’t get over the fact that all of those involved who are still alive are 19 years old. I can’t wrap my head around this.

Think about the ages of the victims and the folks involved in the activity: 8 year-old, 23 year-old, 29 year-old for victims;19 year-old, 27 year-old – alleged bombers. And then another three 19 year-olds arrested last night for tampering with evidence.

My heart weeps for a generation. They were too young too die – and the others are too young to lose their lives through these horrific choices.

Never has there been more money and time put into anti-violence programs in this country. Anti-bullying campaigns have sprung up across the country. People are begging for a stop to violence, whether it be bombings, shootings, or bullies. Yet never have we seen so much sustained violent activity.

And this is only Boston – a safe and wealthy city.

My mind and heart move on to Syria where war has created an environment where children grow up too soon; where young kids sit on street corners trimming vegetables to make some hard-earned pennies, where little girls stand in bread lines, lucky if they are not raped in the process.

And so I weep for a generation that feels unfairly lost, unfairly violated, unfairly portrayed.

What can I do to change that? I’m one person! I can barely handle my stuff, let alone the stuff that, in the big scheme of things, is so much more serious.

But the sun still came up today and we are seeing our fifth day of sunshine in a row. Birds are chirping and a bright red cardinal sits in the tree that is blossoming purple down the road (Whoever said red and purple can’t go together?!) The river is alive with sail boats, the walk beside the river equally alive with people. Beauty is all around us – spring has entered with as much gusto and strength as winter ever had. During those cold days of dark, spring was moving underneath the cold and dark – change was coming.

So in the midst of this I proclaim the goodness of God, a God who cares about kids, who said “Bring the kids! Let them hear!” Who told us we too should become like children, who said “Let the little children come unto me – do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”*

A God who loves kids, who weeps for a generation, who refuses to give up but continues His redemptive work even though I can’t always see it.

In the midst of my cries to God for the kids I remember a passage – from one of my most favorite books on ever earth: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Aslan

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps he has already landed,” [said Beaver].

And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different…. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” 

My heart overflows with irrational joy for indeed – Aslan is on the Move.

*Matthew 19:14

9 thoughts on “Weeping for the Kids

  1. I’m slow to read the blog this week…. but I’m glad I didn’t miss this post. I’ve cried for these 19 year old boys too. They are so young. They participated in something so big…so beyond. Boys who were being loyal friends made bad choices that have far reaching consequences. My heart aches for them. For their mothers. For their other 19 year old friends.
    Spring hasn’t come here in Kansas yet….so in the winter grey, in the lingering chill I have to remind myself that the world is not grey…and that the chill of despair won’t last forever. Faith reminds me that Spring’s colour and hope will come….even to a courtroom in Boston….

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  2. I had the same “irrational” feeling of hope back at the beginning of the year when I was meditating on the coming year. Yes, Aslan is on the move!

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  3. Came across this quote today: “Joy is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes.” ~Frederick Buechner

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  4. I appreciate your personal perspective on the Boston stuff, considering it’s all unfolding before your eyes and impacting you in a way those of us across the country and the world can’t relate to.

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  5. I know how you feel. Several children are suffering and it’s just not right! Some kids are victims of other people’s actions while others are throwing away their futures because they did something bad. Our generation (Millennials) has gone through too much. We need to let kids just be kids!

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  6. Your words echo my heart. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I was feeling the weight of the sorrow of the world, and I found myself weeping for hurting children. Perhaps it was because of a good day with 2 precious great grandsons here for a few days. (Especially good because we can just enjoy them and not feel responsible!) They have so much love lavished on them, along with the loving discipline necessary for a 2 year old. I hurt for children who are being denied that kind of love. I felt that “Holy Ache” you described a few days ago. As I cried, and cried out in my heart to the Lord, I felt His presence, and in my heart heard His voice, “I’m still here. Give me that burden. It’s too heavy for you to carry alone.” And I was able to feel my heart at rest, trusting in Jesus and His love.
    I love that quote from CS Lewis. Thank you!

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