Monday morning I discovered another young male lost his life to senseless violence. He was only 17. Naturally, I my heart ached for the loss of his life, not to mention his mother and remaining family. It wasn’t until later on in the evening when I realized that I actually had a connection to this young man. My son Seth attended middle school with him and had a locker right next to his. Unfortunately, this young man was discovered (via the school’s cameras) stealing Seth’s cell phone out of his locker (he watched Seth open his locker on numerous occasions and memorized his combination…)
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t highly annoyed and irritated about this situation. My first instinct was to be upset w/Seth for allowing it to happen. I very quickly let those feelings dissipate when I saw the hurt all over Seth’s face as he explained what happened. He actually felt like he and the young man were cool w/each other.
The day after the incident, both the principal and vice principal informed me that they made a visit to this young man’s home in an attempt to retrieve the phone. He lived with his grandmother and I don’t believe he had any contact with either parent. Instead of relinquishing the phone, his grandmother and both principals saw the phone in his possession, he stormed out of the house (knocking his grandmother down in the process…)
My husband and I were presented with two options in terms of retribution for the phone.. We could either file a complaint with our local police department (which would have led to greater consequences) or we could do nothing and let the school punish him. Initially, I did want to see him punished for what he had done. It wasn’t until I received some sound advice from a close girlfriend and spending much needed time praying that my heart softened. Ultimately, we decided to do nothing. My heart began to grow softer and softer towards this child and I went from being angry at him to wanting to try to help him.
I have no idea what his everyday life was like or what he experienced in his younger years and, more importantly, why he wasn’t being raised by his parents. My heart is broken again for him. I am left to wonder if his life’s trajectory would have changed if another adult would have been available to provide some much needed guidance, mentoring and love.
The Lord has called my family to adopt. I don’t know what He’s called you to do, but I hope you are inspired to open your heart and let the Lord lead you.