To The Man Who Held My Family At Gunpoint,
The day you came to the door, my kids were spending the afternoon with their Grandma. As I left that day something prompted my 7 year old son to ask about the Holy Spirit. “Is the Holy Spirit here?” he asked. “Of course,” I said confidently. “God has a plan for your life and He’s with you all the time.”
The truth is, I have a hard time leaving my sons. I rarely let them out of my sight. They had a rough start to life. They each spent three years in the foster care system before we finalized their adoptions. They witnessed domestic violence and experienced neglect. They faced an uncertainty that no child can comprehend, especially one so little. It’s taken a lot of care, patience and guidance to bring them to a place where they feel confident and secure.
They had a rough start but they have one huge advantage, Family. They have a birth family, adoptive family and friends who are like family. We are a praying family. We are a family of faith. We believe that our sons were made for a purpose and that their rough start in life is just a tiny blip in the storyline of their life. They are stronger for their experience with adversity.
They were in a good place the day you came to the door. They were happy, safe and filled with creative curiosity. They had begun to trust the world around them, then you lied. You said you were looking for your lost dog. You pushed your way into their safe place. You threatened their grandmother and pointed a gun at her. We’ve spent the last 7 years teaching our children to take their power back but in this moment they were powerless to stop you.
Their grandmother bravely stood up to you. She asked you firmly not to shoot her in front of the babies. She looked you in they eye, not pleading, not begging, simply asking. What changed then? I don’t know. You turned around and walked away.
I’m pretty angry with you today. My kids haven’t slept in a week. They are angry too. They aren’t really angry with you, they are just angry. Their cereal is soggy, their lunch box didn’t keep their sandwich cold. They hate homework. Their sister looked at them funny. The dog licked their shoes. The bus came one minute late. They are angry with you but they can’t even wrap their little minds around it.
I’ve been thinking a lot of bad things about you. I have had hateful plans for you in my heart. Things I cannot even speak out loud for fear of my own darkness. I have questions for you. Why? Why would you do that to the people I love? Why would you scare someone like that? What is wrong with you? I want to scream in your face. They are questions that don’t really need answers though. Your answers wont change a thing.
You were arrested shortly after you threatened my family. Good. I’m mad at you. I hope you’re scared now too.
I just learned something though. You aren’t even a man yet. You’re a child! A 16 year old boy. A kid. I have a 15 year old myself. She’s still my precious little girl and now my head is spinning. My heart is changing. Are you someone’s precious child too?
My children were knit together, created by a God who has not let go of them yet. This frightening day will not define them. They will rise above this because that’s what people of faith do. They will continue to walk in the assuredness that God intends for them to live another day. But what about you? You were made for a greater purpose as well. You have gifts and talents which are uniquely yours.
Will you let this one cowardly act define you? There is time to decide. Will you be just some screw up who bullies little children and their grandmothers or will you lay this aside and become a man?
I truly hope it is the latter.
Have you, or your family, walked through a traumatic situation? What was the outcome? Share your story with us in the comment section below.