Teachable Moment from the Deaths of the Innocent

No one likes to see a young life snuffed out before it even has a chance to grow but many times bad things happens for a good reason and provides us with an opportunity to correct the direction in which we are headed if we would only heed that chance and get the hint.

I speak about the recent unnecessary deaths that have occurred in the past few days like the ones I list below; 
For our local news 23 WIFR | Rockford, Illinois the title of the article is “Baby Struck by Vehicle, Driver Leaves the Scene” and it reports that “Police are searching for the driver who they say hit a 22 month old baby with a car and took off, leaving the child in serious condition.  It happened just before 7:30 pm on Ashland Avenue, which is right next to Andrews Park on Rockford's west side. Investigators were on the scene with an accident reconstructionist and say they are still trying to figure out what happened. Officers say they are now searching for a black Chevy Avalanche with a grey truck bed cover and shiny rims.”

For one of our state’s largest cities titled “Shot that killed 7-year old boy in Humboldt Park meant for his dad, police say” written by Eric Horng, Evelyn Holmes and Diane Pathieu states that “A 7-year-old boy was shot and killed Saturday night while celebrating the Fourth of July with his family on the city's West Side, and Sunday evening Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that the bullet that killed Amari Brown was meant for his father.  McCarthy said Antonio Brown, who he referred to as a "ranking gang member," was the intended target of the attack and that he is not cooperating with investigators.
Amari was standing with an unrelated 26-year-old woman on the sidewalk in the 1100-block of North Harding Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood just before midnight Saturday when shots rang out. He was shot in the right side of the chest and taken by his father to Cook County Hospital, where he died. The woman was also shot in the chest and is hospitalized in stable condition.”

Now what makes incidents like these a teachable moment has nothing to do with gun control or prisons or even gang violence, what it simply has to do with is the lack of consideration we as parents and adults pay toward God’s most precious of gifts, the gift of a child.  A little person who shows us unconditional love and wants little in return except maybe an occasional hug, kiss and encouragement to help them grow into a strong, independent and righteous adult.  This is all that they ask from a person to whom they see as the most important person in their lives.  They feel this way about us but the actions of some makes it appears that we do not care that much about them.

The number one focus that many miss and the teachable moment is what is contained within the articles.  The baby was struck while standing in the street of Ashland Avenue before 7:30 pm and Amari was shot while being outside just before midnight.  The question that should be asked and the teachable moment that is presented is why was these two outside of the home at those times?  Did we forget that since we cannot control the actions of others that God gives each of us blessed enough to have kids the task of watching over them.  No 22 month old baby should have been in the middle of any street at that time and certainly no 7 year old should be up and outside before midnight on any night.

We should use this information to help us become better stewards of our children.  We should use this to make sure that before dark our children are safe and sound in the only structure where we can control and that is the place we call home.  We should use this to learn that the decisions of a 22 month old or a 7 year old to be out is more a reflection on the parents than it is on any community.  We should use these deaths as a warning to all others to better safeguards our children and protect them as we would our possessions or our money.  We will kill to protect them but we stand by and allow our children to get killed because we fail to consider them as precious and far more valuable than anything man-made or tangible.  The tragedy is the loss of young lives but there is also a bigger tragedy and that is the loss of responsibility.


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