In the past few weeks, I've given food and shelter to three teens who've needed help. One has a hare-brained mom who kicked her kid out two days before Christmas, and one has a AWOL mom and a dad in jail. One has a mom hooked on drugs, and as the oldest child, has taken over the role of provider for four younger sibs. None of these kids is a joy to be around 24/7, but everyone deserves a warm bed and food, and these kids were missing those things.
Today, there is news of shootings: a State Representative from Arizona, and then closer to home, one in West Michigan. (That's the violence part.)
There are no apparent ties between these events, but I don't think I'm stretching it when I say that the type of deprivation I'm seeing in kids around me leads to violence. If you don't have any way to get food, what are you going to do? If you don't know anything but fear, shame and hopelessness, what are you going to do? If your mom and dad don't provide the very essential things such as structure, nurturing, forgiveness and love, what are you going to do?
There is so much healing needed in our culture right now. Much of that healing can be done right at our fingertips, if we take the time to notice it. I'm mad and I'm sad.....but I'm also motivated.
What about you?