My New Year's Eve in Philadelphia? Oh. I was just laying in my bed, watching the Penn's Landing fireworks out my window and relaxing to the sound of gun shots a block away. Of course, I only assumed that what I was hearing was gun shots until I heard the news this morning that there were multiple arrests made for illegal use of hand guns, as well as news of several critically injured from stray bullets! I guess my first question is always: How then should I live? In light of guns being fired in celebration in my neighborhood, how am I as a follower of Jesus Christ with little children supposed to live?
It reminds me of an Ellie story...
This time last year, Ellie, Atticus (my 3 year old) and I were on our way down Girard Avenue on the coldest day of the winter. We were stopped at a red light. Up ahead, I noticed a woman walking toward us down the sidewalk. Now, because I was talking on my cell phone, my brain was slow to compute. This was no ordinary woman, but an obese woman without a stitch of clothing. My thoughts slowing disengaged from my conversation to this surreal sight. This naked woman looked like she was out for a Sunday stroll. "What in the world??" I said out loud.
Ellie, on-point as always, quickly sits up to get a look out the front window. "Ellie, cover your eyes!" She immediately obeyed. (Hmm.)
I then watch as a police cruiser slowly pulls up to the sidewalk and an officer gets out. He approaches the woman with one arm behind her back, gently shepherding her into his vehicle. She gets in and they drive away. The light turned green and it was my turn to go.
I look in the review window and note that Ellie is still covering her face with her hands. I tell her its okay to look. I asked her if she saw anything. She answers, "That police man?" I sighed in relief. She didn't see anything. But, I decided to double-check. "Did you see what that police man was doing, Ellie?"
You mean, putting that naked woman in his car?
Nothing gets by this girl. So, I then launch into a discussion about why on earth that woman, on the coldest day of the year, was walking down Girard in absolutely no clothes. However, Ellie, true to form, had to disagree with me on those details.Mom, she was not totally naked. She had panties on. I reassured her that she was entirely nude.
Again, I am called to ask the question: How then should I live? WWJD?? Even though I felt pretty much alone in my struggles, I prayed for wisdom and began to connect the sight we had just witnessed to our most recent family devotional. "Ellie, do you remember when we talked about how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and then, from that point on, sin and yuckiness entered the world? Well, that woman is not supposed to be cold and naked walking down the street. It makes God sad. We don't know why she is alone without any clothes, but we do know that God does not want that for that woman. She is made in his image and he wants only good things for her. And, one day, He will heal the world so that will never happen again. Do you understand?"
Yes, Mama. But if she was naked, what was that black stuff in her bottom?
Ellie, WHAT were you doing looking that closely at her bottom??
I eat carrots, babe.