The Kid Aimed . . .

Matthew 5:1-12  – The Fourth Sunday following Epiphany – for Sunday, February 2, 2014

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God . . .” (Matthew 5:9)

kid with gunDriving home. Weary. The day’s work was done.

On the sidewalk to my right, a few blocks from home, a woman fussed with a baby in a stroller. There was a second kid beside her. I would guess he was four. I also guessed, in the split-second impressions humans collect through glances, the gray-haired woman was their grandmother. When I might’ve normally looked elsewhere, to scan for oncoming traffic or check the rearview mirror, the four-year old startled me with his next action.

As the grandmother leaned into the stroller, maybe adjusting a blanket, the kid raised an object toward me.

A gun.

The kid aimed at my head. As I drove by, the barrel of his plastic, neon-orange toy rifle tracked the speed of my slow-moving car.

The day before I had read Jesus’ beatitudes, each one like a trumpet declaring the deepest truths of truest faith. About the poor in spirit, about those who mourn, about the meek, and including . . .

 Blessed are the peacemakers, Jesus taught, for they will be called children of God.

Nothing I will write in the next sentences will matter. Whatever I write, however poorly or brilliantly my thoughts are phrased, and whoever reads my words, nothing will make a difference.

Why? Continue reading →