In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain. 2For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. 3When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Psalm 11: 1-3, NIVOur Nation stands alongside New Town, Connecticut and mourns the loss of 20 innocent 6 and 7 year olds as well as the brave teachers and administrators who gave their lives trying to protect them. Our hearts are broken, our words fail us and our tears could fill an ocean. How many more times must we stand in this place of agony before we use our collective voices to say, “NO MORE!”?
This past week I sat with a mother who agonized over the lack of services available to assist her with her pre-teen child who has been diagnosed with a behavioral disability. The child has become increasingly verbally abusive, combative and frequently runs away. However, the mother has only been able to receive minimal support from local mental health facilities and hospitals, being told that her case is not “severe enough.”
As I sought to assist her by making calls to agencies I knew, the response was similar, “unless the child is threatening to kill them-self or to harm someone else, we cannot take them in…” Frustration mounts, pain deepens and the search for affordable assistance continues.
In the Greater Cleveland area, another young, single mother aged out of the foster care system. A victim of abuse herself, she struggled to care for her three young children. Records reflect that she went to several agencies and even sought to have her children adopted – little help appears to have been given. She reported her 3 year-old son kidnapped. A panicked community and police force scour the city looking for the child only to discover that his small beaten and broken body was thrown out with the trash behind the mother’s apartment. The mother is now being held for the murder of her own son.Limited and/or difficult to access mental health care services. Increasing numbers of military style fire arms available to civilians. Loud voices championing 2nd amendment “rites.” After all of the prayer vigils and meetings may the people of God press beyond broken hearts and collectively cry out for systems and legislation that makes sense.
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Until next Wednesday, In Faith, Hope and Perseverance, Pastor Chris