The thoughts of our children

posted Apr 24, 2013, 9:45 AM by Amelia Fannin   [ updated Apr 24, 2013, 9:45 AM by in apropos ]
Last Sunday I wanted to be sure that the children had an opportunity to express any concerns about the events of the last week.  We began by working together to build our own altar.  We placed a white cloth on two small tables, then added many different items to it; a large cross, palms, pillar candles, flowers, and lots of votive candles.  We then lit the candles.  I asked the children why we were taking time to make the altar and pray today.
"Because of the bad things that happened at the marathon."
"Two men set bombs, and people died."
"A little boy died."
Three people died."
"No, four people, a policeman died too."
"Five people died, including the one who made the bomb."
More silence.
After a minute or two I said, "so - do we pray for all of them, the good guys and the bad guys?"
"Yes", came the unanimous answer. 
"Why?", I said. 
"Because Jesus said we have to forgive people", said a child, confidently.  Everyone else seemed absolutely satisfied with this answer, and so we prayed.
I have been struggling all week with the affect on me of the photo of the surviving bomber pinned to the ground, his skinny belly exposed.  Every time I see it, it reminds me of my own 16 year old son.
A friend shared this quote with me:
"If we say that monsters [people who do terrible evil] are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have.  They are given the power to keep evil alive in the heart of those who suffered most.  We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts.  We give them the last word."    -- Lewis Smedes
Fiona Vidal-White