A Renewed Hope in the Future

My daily march through the newspaper is rarely good. Yet another troubled person opened fire on the staff of a newsroom in Maryland. 5 people shot dead. I was deeply moved by the editorial page in their paper the next day. The idea that they were able to get back to work was inspiration enough. But their editorial page was completely blank except for these four words: “TODAY WE ARE SPEECHLESS”

There are more and more of those days for far too many of us. The cumulative effect is often a sort of erosion of the heart. We become numb to it all. Another day, another mass shooting?? Ho Hum. I fear the outcome of this for many is a loss of hope.

There is evidence for this. The birth rate is down in most nations around the world. Why is that? Experts say that when people don’t recognize a good future, they stop having children. The phrase I often heard from the hopeless ones was this: “Why would I want to bring a child into a world like this?”

Then came Lewis. Samantha and Mark welcomed a son into the world at the end of June. His name is Lewis Brannon McGlothlin. Lewis certainly doesn’t “belong” to us. But then again, we have all walked alongside Sam and Mark in their pregnancy and we have been also anxiously awaiting his arrival. No, he doesn’t belong to us, but maybe we can all serve as cousins and aunts and uncles. Lewis deserves all the love we can give him. Especially in a world like ours.

Lewis renews my hope in the future. I’m reminded that the shooter in Maryland wasn’t born to do that. No purveyor of violence and mayhem is born to it. They are taught--sometimes by a bad home life--sometimes by other factors. Imagine yourself looking into the crib of the young man who grew up to shoot those 5 people. Can you see him? He is small and helpless and beautiful. And we think to ourselves, how is it possible you could grow up to do such a heinous thing?

Lewis and all the other children like him offer our best chance at salvation. He will be taught well. He will be loved unconditionally. He will be held accountable and he will grow into a terrific human being. And we all need Lewis and all the other children to grow that way.

So congratulations Sam and Mark! We are thrilled for you. We look forward to having Lewis crawl around us. Thank you for bringing us all a measure of hope for a better future.