It would have been cool to be a fly while our daughter was at Adventure camp this week. Actually, I’d prefer to be a butterfly but I suppose flies get around better without being noticed.
She is sixteen years old and should be able to go to camp without her parents worrying or fussing over her but a year ago Crohns turned me into a wacky helicopter parent.
She’s been in remission for several weeks and doing well so I felt okay when we dropped her off. I was a little on edge but able to function until the next day I saw her in a group photo and found out the group was going on a TWO day THIRTEEN mile hike during a heat advisory to stay inside!
I knew she was going hiking but had no idea for so long and so far. Needless to say, I began to worry and a brick settled into my abdomen and refused to go away. I wanted to go straight to the camp and follow inconspicuously behind just in case…but I didn’t.
Later that night we found out she had some trouble and needed to come back to camp. The brick in my stomach grew along with the desire to get a motel room near the camp just in case… but I didn’t.
While we were reassured that she did really well the next few days and the camp director felt confident she could handle an overnight camp out, followed by a bathroom-free day white water rafting, the brick in my stomach remained, creeping sometimes into my throat threatening to choke me. I really wanted to go to the State Park and hang out just in case…but I didn’t.
Prior to her Crohns diagnosis, my husband and I would have been far, far away drinking tropical drinks without a care in the world, thanking God for a worry-free week without parental responsibilities. Prior to finding out about the hike, I thought I’d spend the week blogging and painting but fear made it impossible to focus, collect my thoughts or stir up any creative juices. So I went to the fitness center to release my anxious energy on the treadmill.
Foolishly I watched the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict, the ‘lawful’ return of Mr. Zimmerman’s gun, the interview with Juror B37 and Trayvon Martin’s parents. While each increased my heart rate, none decreased my stress. My heightened emotional state caused me to cry openly forgetting my headphones didn’t block others from seeing my tears.
I’m not claiming to know the right verdict. I don’t understand – an unarmed teenager went to the store for a snack and never returned home; and his killer was found legally justified. It was so senseless! What if it had been my 16 year old daughter, my 22 year old son, my husband or me?
Is anyone with a permit to carrying a gun legally justified to use deadly force if they follow my child because they deem them suspicious and my child fights back? Why would it be up to them to turn the other cheek?
I found myself frustrated with our justice system and questioning where was God the night Trayvon died. I wish I was a fly on a tree that night and witnessed Jesus saying or doing something to keep Trayvon safe. What happened that night? Was God off duty?
I always plead for God to have a hands on response to my prayers, such as this week with my daughter at camp, I want and pray for God to just swoop in and make everything better. I wonder if God is listening when my prayers aren’t answered according to my demands.
I know God witnessed the death of Trayvon Martin, just as God witnessed the tragic life-saving death of his son, Jesus on cross. Most importantly, God has the power to raise Trayvon from the dead and promises justice.
But what about justice for Trayvon’s family? How do we keep our children safe? Is that not possible in this world?
And least I close without sharing the gospel of grace. I was reminded Christians are known by their love. God’s love and promises extends to Trayvon and God’s other child, George Zimmerman. Just as I’m already forgiven for my many failures so was George for Trayvon before he even pulled the trigger! A hard but true pill to swallow. Yet what did our justice system teach George about loving his neighbor ? Is ‘Stand Your Ground‘ a biblical principle?
Lord, I do not have all the answers but I am glad you do! Thank you for always being the fly on the wall. You are always present and always available. Thank you for caring for my daughter and the other campers. Thank you for your love, your son and your grace. Help me to love as you have loved me; as you have loved your enemies. Continue to pour out your love and comfort upon Trayvon’s friends and family, guide their steps and bring them healing. Make yourself known to George Zimmerman. Guide him and wrap him in your love and grace. And help me to do the same. It is in your name I pray. Amen.