Most of you have probably heard by now about 5-year-old Maria Chapman's tragic death. If not, read about it here. I turned on national Christian radio station KLOVE (88.3 fm here in NEPA) as Camilla and I pulled out of our garage this morning and was shocked by the news. We were going to visit our friends Jill and Haven about 30 minutes away, so I had time to think and listen and pray as people from all over the country called into the radio station with their condolences. It really hit me hard when I heard that their sixteen-year-old son was driving the vehicle that killed his sister. I can't imagine what he's going through.
As I listened, I thought of all the solutions we run to when we hear of tragedies--the things we do in an attempt to make our world "safe". As a mom, I want to believe that I can prevent something like this from ever happening. But I can't. I'm reading a book called Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear. It helps stop me short when I think I can protect Camilla--or when I think I should protect her from the normal risks of living life to its fullest. Of course, I'm teaching her to stay out of the driveway and the road unless she's with Mommy or Daddy, but does that mean nothing like this will happen to us? No. Does it then mean we should live in fear of tragedy? Absolutely not! Jesus taught us to live courageously in a dangerous world. Following Him is not safe, but it is indescribably good.
My prayer is that Jesus will hold the Chapman family at this time. I can't pretend to know what they're feeling, but I do know that God can help them. He can bring them to the place where they once again know that He is good.
And if I won't let this news drive me towards becoming an overprotective parent, what should I let it drive me towards? Perhaps holding my baby girl a little tighter when she throws her arms around me. Putting down the phone and reading her the book she's holding out. Stepping away from the computer to put a puzzle together. And especially cherishing moments such as those captured in the following photos.