A Simple Answer

What is Isis?

Why would he do this? 

Why do they want to kill people?

We’ve tried very hard to shelter our kids from the chaos that has become so familiar in the world.  School shootings, hate spewing, senseless violence, and terror.  We’ve become experts at turning the t.v. off as news reports begin to tell the tragic details of the latest terror attack and pros at distraction when reports of ridiculous sentences are handed down to violent criminals, skewing the meaning of the word ‘justice’.

I don’t know if this is the right thing to do.  Each time something tragic and terrifying happens in the world, Chad and I weigh the benefits and costs of opening their eyes to what might chip away at their innocence.  Let’s face it, to date, the wrath of over-tired parents is about as far as they’ve gone to witness the ugliness of the world.

Sunday was different, though.  Sunday morning we woke up with the rest of the world to the tragic news in Orlando and it was so hard to shelter them.  The news was everywhere and the tragedy profound.

After spending the weekend away on my Dad’s boat, the news of Sunday morning seemed such a contrast to what we had seen an experienced over the last few days.  Full days where the suns heat beat down on smiling faces and our only awareness was right here.  Right Now.

V56B5013V56B5019V56B5038V56B5028We know that we can’t protect them forever from the realities of the world.  We also know that to do so, would, in the long run, do more harm than good.  Still, we talk often about the when.  When is it the right time to expose them to such injustices and hatred and ugliness?  When is the right time to allow them to see that such things exist?  I hold on to the memory of their little squishy bodies laying on my chest when they sucked in their first tastes of air and I wonder how we’ve gotten to this place today.  When they were placed in my arms I naively believed I could protect them. . . forever.

I admit my naiveté openly. In fact, while in grad school, my lean toward naive thinking was well documented by testing.  (Thank you MMPI)  The things is, despite all that I see on the news and all I hear of the evil in the world, there is a part of me that has to believe that the world is good.  I have to believe that for every news report telling me that evil is winning, there are many more untold stories of all the good.  In the end, I have to believe that good will overcome evil.


So when the questions came from Charlie as we were driving away from vacation Bible school yesterday I had to breathe deep before answering.   I know I can’t make him understand because I don’t understand.  It is impossible to make sense out of senseless things.  All I knew to talk about is love.  I talked about why love is so important.  I talked about the importance of loving people who are different than we are.  Loving people who are the same as we are.  I talked about not having answers except for that–we can love.  We can be different.  When others hate, we can love.

Perhaps my answers are over-simplified.  Perhaps there were a million other things I could have said or should have said.  Perhaps the one who scored high in “naiveté ” should be the last one to answer the hard questions.  Still, I want them to believe it.  I want them to walk into the world with their arms and their hearts as wide open as their eyes.

V56B5073V56B5192V56B5072I know I can’t change the world–but these kids, man, they make me want to change the world.  They make me want to make it better.  So, we will continue to do all we can to influence the little lives within our walls to love life.  To celebrate our differences.  To marvel at the beauty of all that is around us.  To have eyes of wonder and hearts of grace.

I have to believe in the good.  I have to believe that, in the end, love will win.

V56B5206V56B5208V56B5199V56B5214V56B5191V56B5184V56B5161V56B5195V56B5236V56B5212V56B5177“I always wanted to invent something that would move around & make funny noises & would change the world as we know it & I forgot all about that until we had kids & now I see I came pretty close.” -Brian Andreas, Story People

  • Barbara Allen - June 14, 2016 - 12:07 pm

    Summer so well spoken – I love your transparency and I think focusing on the importance of love is a wonderful way to answer the questions of your babies – really it’s an answer that speaks to adults as well – we are told to love one another – that each life is important and matters – as your children grow into loving adults that love that you have taught them will make them world changers.ReplyCancel

    • Summer - June 15, 2016 - 8:53 am

      Thank you, Barb. This is such an important conversation and I hope that, in the end, it really can be that simple for them. . . for all of us.
      Thank you for your kind words, Barb.ReplyCancel

  • Kim Ellis - June 15, 2016 - 10:42 am

    When I was in gradeschool we had bomb drills… (yes Im telling my age) …we had to go out in the hallway and put our knees up and our head covered with our arms and head between our knees… we also had to get in the floor under our desks and sit the same as in the hall…. I had a teacher that told us that the Russians would be coming over and would hang us by a stick shoved through our ears, she said they would pull out our fingernails one by one… many horrible stories .. and when your in the 4th grade nightmares were every night… Our teacher let us know Bombs/ Russians were coming and we had no way of stopping them. My parents told us we had to live to be ready for anything but no matter what we were to not be afraid, God had our backs and we needed to love more, serve more, be kind to everyone .. even the teacher that was telling us such horrific stories because she must be terribly afraid herself to have such thoughts. ~don’t get me wrong.. Mom and dad had a talk with her about the stories she was telling and the ‘probalbys that were going to happen’ she stopped telling them but the nightmares continued for years. You are totally right in your way of teaching your children, trying to hide it from them as long as possible … they see how you react to situations and they will react the same. Love is like the light in the world… They sure can change the world.. I’m sure they will have much light in the world… they have wonderful examples!ReplyCancel

    • Summer - June 15, 2016 - 1:41 pm

      Oh Kim. Wow. That story, the things you were told. Wow.
      Thank you for sharing your experience, your wisdom, your encouragement.
      Thank you for the gift you gave me today. . .ReplyCancel

  • Becky Marshall - June 15, 2016 - 12:00 pm

    LOVE NEVER FAILS – I Corinthians 13 – one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.

    You and Chad are a beautiful example of unconditional love. The foundation that you are building in Christ, the solid Rock – will help them to stand even in the midst of storm. Life on earth will bring multiple challenges, lots of questions, will make them wonder…

    Edgar A guest wrote this poem…

    I’d rather see a sermon
    than hear one any day;
    I’d rather one should walk with me
    than merely tell the way.
    The eye’s a better pupil
    and more willing than the ear,
    Fine counsel is confusing,
    but example’s always clear;
    And the best of all preachers
    are the men who live their creeds,
    For to see good put in action
    is what everybody needs.
    I soon can learn to do it
    if you’ll let me see it done;
    I can watch your hands in action,
    but your tongue too fast may run.
    And the lecture you deliver
    may be very wise and true,
    But I’d rather get my lessons
    by observing what you do;
    For I might misunderstand you
    and the high advice you give,
    But there’s no misunderstanding
    how you act and how you live.

    Thank you for demonstrating to your children and to all you come in contact with how LOVE can make a difference even in the midst of tragedyReplyCancel

    • Summer - June 15, 2016 - 1:40 pm

      Oh Becky. . . this. is. beautiful.

      THank you, thank you, thank you for sharing such beautiful, encouraging words.ReplyCancel

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