A Dark Monday Morning
This morning (Monday) on my way to class, we stopped for a brief “How was your weekend?” conversation with a fellow classmate. After talking about our jellyfish stings and monkey sightings, we returned the same question to him: “How was your weekend?”
His response haunted me all day:
“We were downtown yesterday afternoon walking through the street, just shopping, when we heard ‘Crack!’ and the birds in the park all flew away. Then another ‘Crack!’ and people started screaming and running in all directions.
An angry husband had been arguing with his wife, followed her into the city, and when she refused to go home with him, he pulled out a gun, shot his wife in the middle of downtown, and then shot himself….right in front of everyone, including their little girls, who stood there, just screaming at the top of their lungs.”
For the rest of the day, I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything else. I keep thinking about those poor little girls who have experienced more shock and pain than I ever have, and I can’t figure out how they’ll ever be able to sort through their lives and make any sense of the horrible things that have happened this weekend.
I’ve tried to think of what I would have done if I would have been there. And I think I would have run to those little girls and scooped them up and held them while we waited for the police to come. I wonder what they saw in those moments when no one was there to protect them. What images will forever be burned in their memories?
The local news said the family is Nicaraguan, which usually means they have been discriminated against in cruel ways by this society. I wonder what will happen to the girls now that they don’t have parents. Will they be sent back to their country to live with distant relatives? Or will they be put into foster care here? Will they get to stay together? Who would be able to take in all of them at one time anyway?
I keep thinking how I wish we were in a position to really help these girls.
And I don’t mean dropping coins in a tin can with their photo on it at the grocery store for their college fund. I mean something like adopting all of them and helping them find real ways to deal with their likely years of abuse.
But, we lack so many things that would make us a benefit to them.
So, I began evaluating our lives to think of what is it that stands in the way of us being people who are able to give extremely sacrificially, especially to children who are victims of a cruel and fallen world.
I have a long list of things that hinder us from being able to jump into a situation like this at this moment. But, fortunately, I believe God’s grace can cover most of those. There are, however, some major tangible things that we need to work on:
– A Home. Realistically, we don’t even know where we are going to lay our heads, so inviting displaced people into our home isn’t even an option right now, even though it’s a real passion of both of us. If we could settle down here, we could position ourselves in a unique way to help people tangibly.
– My Education. Although this one is negotiable, I have recently been considering going back to school (online, most likely) for studying counseling. How awesome to be able to address issues of the whole person – physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I’d love the confidence of having some advanced education in this area.
– Spanish. To be able to help anyone in this country, I have to stick to my language study. I can’t even call Social Services right now to volunteer to help because as soon as they ask me a question, we will lose our already weak line of communication because my Spanish is so poor!
And that’s where I am right now — in this slow boat of language learning while I wait to be able to help others in a more effective way. It rips my heart out to hear of people I could comfort and love, if I only knew how to communicate in their language!
So, I wait.
With a broken heart and frustrated spirit, I wait until the day I can pick up the phone and (semi-) confidently offer my services, however lacking they may be, and see what God has in store for us.