Monday, July 23, 2012

Teach Them Love

True that, Clive.
This world is whack, sometimes.

This world can be a really screwed up place, in case you hadn't noticed. And that was sort of the theme of the weekend for me. While still reeling from the news of a terrible tragedy in Colorado, our family decided to take a little night out together to do some shopping on Saturday evening. Just an ordinary outing that I had been looking forward to all week. And we were almost involved in a terrible almost the exact same place that a young family of three would lose their lives just a few hours later.

The sun was beginning to set in the sky, and the girls were lazily settling into their seats in the back. We were going to go to two different malls and have dinner, and I wasn't paying attention to anything going on around me as Eric drove. I was just dreamily looking at the clouds and thinking about what things I wanted to find while we were out. When suddenly my entire body was shocked into attention as Eric jerked our car toward the ditch, narrowly missing a van that had swerved into our lane. That van had almost hit the car in front of us as well, and I looked up just in time to see the other vehicle swerving back onto the road. It seemed as though the driver of the van finally realized what he/she was doing seconds before hitting us, and they turned just in time.

Needless to say, we were very shaken up, because it would have been a very very bad accident. And when we got home that night and learned that the exact same thing happened to another family in almost the exact same spot in the exact same scenario...only, they weren't so lucky... it left me with an even eerier feeling. You can be the most careful person in the world, and it doesn't matter. Because other people's actions can affect you. Whether you're minding your own business just driving down the road or settling into a darkened movie theater getting ready to watch a film, life can THAT.

One of our stops for the evening was going to be the St. Louis Mills Mall. I had some rewards to spend, so I wanted to check out the Gymboree outlet. And I don't mean to offend anyone if this happens to be your favorite place in the world, but we are never...ever...EVER...going back there again. Talk about screwed up world.

Eric left me for about thirty minutes to shop while he walked the girls around, and in that thirty minutes he saw THREE different arrests inside of the mall. I had my arms loaded with clothes when he came strolling back into the store and with a whitewashed expression he said, "We have to get out of here." Which is exactly what we did. I dropped the clothes and we made our way to the exit. The exit which was perfectly fine and intact when we walked into the mall thirty minutes earlier...and now was busted open and broken. Seriously.

Add in the groups of young people in the parking lot being monitored by security who watched our family load into the car and stared at us until we were long gone...and yeah, I would say we are never going back. Ever. Ever.

Screwed. Up.

There is one thing that I took away from the one and only philosophy course I ever took in college (which I already knew thanks to years of bible study)...and that is that evil doesn't have to be learned. No one has to teach a child how to to to cheat. These are things every human being seems to do naturally from the time they are physically able. I can tell you, without a doubt, that I never had to teach my children to be naughty - they have perfected that one all on their own. :)

What has to be taught is love. Morals. Integrity. Sharing. Caring. I believe that God is love, because that's who he says he is. So all I can say is praise the Lord that our weekend ended with the start of Vacation Bible School! It was what we needed.

I have the pleasure of working with the preschoolers, and I have to admit, sometimes it is totally refreshing to have BIG truths unpacked, broken down, and simplified to a language that even a four year old can understand. While learning about our awesome God, children can't help but also learn about love...and sharing, and mercy, and compassion...because that's who God is.

And that's a lot to learn in a lifetime.

While I think it is ultimately up to each parent to teach their children morality, it can be wonderful and very helpful when they hear it from someone other than mom and dad, too. That is just one of the many reasons that I love VBS. I am so thankful that there are people willing to give up their time to share love with children.

After the events of this weekend, it is very clear to me that this world needs it.

And now...haha...I am ready to put this weekend in the past and have a total BLAST for the rest of the week! Hopefully tomorrow I will have a much more lighthearted post to share about our good times with the littles! Everyone is welcome at Vacation Bible School, so stop by if you're in the area and bring your kids, neighbors, relatives...whomever you please! And if you need to find me just look for the beach ball on legs chasing after a dozen scurrying children. Kind of hard to miss. :)

Thank you, Jesus for protecting our family this weekend.

I hope that Love leads your way today. 


Courtney B said...

Oh my goodness... I'm so glad your sweet family is safe! Definitely blessed. It is so sad to think of how much evil there is in the world these days. We just have to keep living the best way we know how, and try to be an example of good!

Cassie said...

holy cow!! so glad you are all safe!

i can't help but think what if that SAME van was the one that was in the accident later that night.
adrien - seriously, that's crazy scary and needs to be brought to someone's attention. ahhhhh. gives me the creeps!!

again SO glad everyone is safe.

the mills mall is a scary place. i totally agree. my car got broken into there once. ugh - i am not a fan of that place.

and yes, this world is MESSED UP!!

Sarah said...

I shouldn't of read this post....well until the end of course. My stomach has been in knots all weekend & I can't seem to get out of this funk. Life is so so sooo precious. So beyond happy you & the family are safe & sound! xo

Anonymous said...

I know it's probably rude to point this out and it's not the point of the story, but it says very clearly in all news outlets that it was the father of the family in the car that crossed the center line Saturday night. Not the driver of the van. I think it's a terrible thing that happened, but I also don't want anyone pointing the blame at someone who was innocent.


The Independent Spinster said...

Dude...this is so scary. My sister was right in front of the accident that happened in Waterloo Thursday night where that woman was killed, and it just shakes you to your core when you realize how close you can come to a tragedy. Glad you are all okay!

Adrien said...

Thank you, everyone. We are very grateful to be safe and sound today. :)

Yes, Susan, I also heard the father was the one who crossed the center line. I certainly wouldn't place blame where it doesn't belong.

The Pettijohn's said...

Happy you are all okay. Super scary. The world can be a very screwed up place that is for sure.

On a lighter note, Wyatt love VBS last night and is really excited to be going back.

Katie said...

So glad your family is safe! After all of the scary things happening in the world lately, I've been in such a funk and a little afraid to be outside of the "safety" of my home. What a good reminder that God protects us and has a plan. We aren't in control and life can certainly change in just a few seconds.


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