We had one of those conversations last night and it went like this:
Me: "Hey bug, I had a question for you. If you saw someone that was different than you, maybe they looked different or acted differently than you... what would you do?"
Amelia: "Hmmm... I would probably say they look great or something like that."
Me: "What if someone was sick or hurting or...?"
Amelia: "Or without a home!? Well, I would call a doctor if they were sick. Or I would let them live with us if they didn't have a home. We could just build some more rooms or something!"
Me: "Wow! Those are great ideas! But what if they were far away from us?"
Amelia: "Oh, well... I don't know, Mama."
Me: "What if we prayed for them?"
Amelia: "Oh yeah!!! We could pray for God to help them!!"
Me: "Well, there's something we can pray about tonight if you want. There's a place in our country called Orlando, Florida. There was an angry man who hurt a group of people that were different than him. So now their friends and family feel really sad. And there's even more people all over the world that are sad as well."
Amelia: "Mama! Can I please pray for those people?"
Me: "Go for it, kiddo."
She bowed her head, clasped her hands together, shut her eyes, and prayed the sweetest prayer.
I confess my past indifference to tragedy in the world. It's not that I don't care. In my deepest heart of hearts, there's aching. But in a world where my one voice feels so small, I have never felt compelled to say much about the events that surround us, now or in the past. But the reality is that in my quietness, I have been as ineffective as the loudest voices among us.
After this week though, I just can't keep quiet. This isn't only my world. This is my kid's world, too. And while I get to filter so much of what they know now, I won't be able to forever. These are the years where I get to do the majority of the molding and shaping of their lives. I aim to do this by pointing them to the truth that Jesus is their shelter and Jesus is their example. He will sustain them and He will guide them.
The last thing I want is for my girls to be indifferent adults. I would never want them to shy away from hard circumstance or hide from pain because of their own insecurities. I want them to be confident women, compelled to love well at all times and to speak out against injustice in our world because of the freedom they have found in following Jesus.
"There is tension in tolerance, but the amazing news is that our Father thrives in human tension. That is where He does His most unexpected work. He brings lightness to heavy burdens, and the Holy Spirit brings wisdom whenever we ask for it. At the foot of the cross, we are wild and free women. We can be passionate and tolerant; we can be truth tellers while being loving and patient like Jesus is. We can walk with Jesus and watch how He loves."
So I pray boldly for them and I realize the need for me to show them what this kind of life looks like lived out, even now when they are so little.
To the world I have felt little concern for in the past, I am truly sorry. Please forgive me.
My five year old daughter has a heart for you that I aspire to have. She's the wildest, most free soul I know. I definitely plan to chat with her some more. I have a few things to learn from her.