Something crazy happened to my children and I yesterday. Josh, really was looking forward to being able to scooter at the skate park he so loved. So we planned our afternoon around that. I made sure we parked right next to the skate park because we were planning to be there for at least an hour. As we were walking towards it, a fight broke out between two teenagers who were among about 15 other teenagers. There was a lot of swearing and punching. One of the kids threw a garbage can at the other one.
I honestly do not know what I was thinking. Maybe it was God, maybe it was stupidity, but I decided to sit at the table next to them, hoping that my presence would stop the fighting and they would get over it. They did stop, but not verbally. I asked them if they would please stop fighting so my kids could play. One of the boys sitting down had his hand in his gym bag and pulled out a silver gun half way saying, ‘I could just use this?’ I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I then motioned for my son that we were leaving. He was very disappointed, but I whispered in his ear that one of the boys had a gun and it was no longer safe to be there.
As we were leaving one of the younger boys came up to me and apologized. He said it wasn’t safe to be there and the best time for my kids to come scooter was before noon. That comment angered me. They had taken over one of the best skate parks. Even the guy who threw the garbage can came over to apologize. I looked him in the eye and said thank you for saying he was sorry. About 6 to 7 of the boys apologized to us as we left towards the kids play area.
When we got there both of my kids were so upset that our plans had changed. I looked around and saw many innocent families there that had no clue what had just taken place. I felt impressed to call the police. Within 10 mins. there were two policeman on foot, two to three police cars, 2 police motorcyclists and a helicopter. It was shocking and cool all at the same time.
I knew we had to get back to my car by following the policemen over. We hurriedly got in our car and drove the back way home. A little while later, I received a phone call from the police deputy that they had arrested the fighter, but the boy with the gun got away. My heart weighed heavy for those boys the rest of the day. My kids wanted to fight those boys if they ever did that again, but I had to tell them what those boys needed most were our prayers.
What I realized yesterday was that anger, hurt and fear take away innocence and freedom. Jesus came to set us free from those things. When we accept Him as our Savior and ruler over our lives, He frees us from those evil chains that bind and burden us, so that we can live in peace, comfort and love. I watched my son scooter around while the boys were still steaming and saw innocence and joy. Those boys had lost that. They were still young enough to get away with having fun, playing and being kids, but they choose to allow darkness to complicate their young lives.
Honestly, I wish I could go back and hug everyone of those kids and tell them they are loved and valued by Jesus, and that it was okay to be young and to enjoy their youth before it faded away.
I wrote what happened to us in my devotion journal and this is what Jesus Calling had to say:
“Entrust your loved ones to Me; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me then in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac…When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand…I am free to shower blessings on them. My Presence will go wherever they go, and I will give them rest. This same Presence stays with you, as you relax and place your trust in Me. Watch to see what I will do.”
This comforted me about my decision yesterday. God protected me and my kids and He broke up the fight that could have ended in a devastating way.