Bus Stops and Bullets

It feels like yesterday that I was the one walking to the bus stop from our cute little house on the hill overlooking the beautiful California valley. It amazes me every single day that I am going to be walking my own kids down that familiar hill.

I'm now living in a completely different country but part of me feels like that hill has followed me here. I often feel like my adolescence followed me here along with it. There are mornings I wake up and feel so young. I feel as though I need that tug on my blanket and the flickering of the lights from my dad to get me up. Then I walk down those stairs and realize time has flown by like the quick fast forward of an old VHS tape.

I am now the adult.

I am now responsible for three little lives, three little hearts, and three little souls. This seems utterly daunting at times. It feels like a weight that I'm still waiting on the strength to bear.
Can't I go back? Back to the carefree morning walks down to the bus stop where I would watch my hair dance on the wind right next to all my worries and cares?

Back to a time when I didn't have to worry about the danger and evil in this world creeping into the lives of those three innocent people that have been entrusted to me. Can't I just go back to a time where there was no reckless U-haul truck or Las Vegas?

I know the answer to this of course. I also know I can't hide away and wish for it all to disappear. Because it won't and there is a good chance that these same monsters will come knocking on my door too and on the door of my sweet kids. They will have to face this world and everything that comes with it and what do I want to teach them? How do I want to prepare them for the day when they are thrust onto the front lines and I can't be there to shut off the tv or double check all the doors at night?

I want them to jump heart first into this messy world. I want them to be the people who throw their body's onto a stranger to protect them from the pain that wasn't even meant for them. I want them to be the tiny glimmer of kindness that this world needs to see when it gets the darkest. I want them to be all in, no matter how terrifying, and how much it may cost them.

I want them to be the ones who give up their seat on the bus, care for the sick, pray for the lost, and die for the ones who don't deserve it. I want them to be the ones who love the people behind the gun, behind the U-haul truck, and behind the headlines.

But how do I ask this of them? How do I create such unfathomable and such unconventional adults? How do I push past the fear and the selfishness in my own heart and show them that being all those things is actually worth it?

I guess first, I have to show them Jesus. I need to show them the magnitude of His sacrifice, the reason he died and who he actually died for. I need them to see that he didn't die for me because I'm a good person or even because I love him. But that he died when I was messy. He died for me when I was mean and angry and selfish. He died for me when I stole, lied, and cheated. He died for me when my hands were the dirtiest and he would have done it again even if I never cared.

And then if I can even teach a tiny piece of that to them, I need to be the person I'm asking them to be. I need to show them how to love, how to sacrifice, and how to give when I have nothing left to give. I need to be the one already jumping in front of the bullet. Because they can hear me talk and talk but until they see this counter-cultural and crazy life lived through me it will never be real enough for them to want to choose it for themselves. They will never see the person who is saved, the person being bandaged up, or the person actually being forgiven unless I show them that that can actually happen.
I need to show them how inadequate, how weak, and how afraid I am on my own so I can show them how powerful, how strong, and how courageous I am with Jesus.
I need to show them they have a voice that can be heard. I need to show them that their hands were made for healing, their feet were made to venture onto dangerous ground. I need to show them that they were given a heart full of love, compassion, and faith not for their own benefit but for the benefit of others. I need to show them that they can make a difference and it can be beautiful and that it should always look, feel, and respond like love.

I need to show them that they are so much more than enough! But I need to show myself that first.

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