I recently learned of a tragic event involving two young boys. A 9-year-old boy was playing at the neighborhood playground with his brothers, when a 12-year-old boy approached them. The 12-year-old boy, without warning, stabbed the 9-year-old boy, who later died from his injuries.
After the stabbing, the 12-year-old calmly went to a neighbor’s house called the police and confessed. He waited patiently for the police and when they arrived, he turned himself in and said, “I want to die. I’m tired of life.”
Reports stated that this 12-year-old boy and his siblings lived in deplorable conditions with drug addicts for parents. At the time of the 12-year-old boy’s arrest, bruises covered his body. After his arrest, the State removed his siblings, who also had bruises, fractures, and cigarette burns, from their parent’s home.
My heart hurts for the mother of the 9-year-old. What mother thinks that allowing your child to go to the playground could result in his death? I cannot imagine what, or how, she feels and I pray that in time God will heal her pain.
My heart also hurts for that 12-year-old boy. It saddens me that at 12 years old, this little boy believed death was better than life.
This 12-year-old boy made a choice that will forever change the course of his life. I do not agree with, nor am I excusing what he did, but I wonder how his life and choices would have been different with a different set of parents, different set of life circumstances, etc.
- How many people noticed the bruises on this boy and his siblings and never reported it?
- How many people knew the deplorable conditions these children were living in and chose to look away?
- How many people heard the cries of these children when they were being beat and closed their ears?
I encourage you …
- If you have noticed, or suspected, any abuse or neglect of a child, REPORT IT!
- If you are able to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters or some type of mentoring program, DO IT!
- If you have room in your heart to love a child, CONSIDER ADOPTION!
- If you are unable to care for the children you do have, SEEK HELP!
- If you have children, stepchildren, nieces, nephews, etc of your own, HUG them tight, tell them you LOVE them often, ENCOURAGE them always, PRAY for them, and SUPPORT them.
- If you cannot do any of the things listed, PRAY! Pray for the fatherless, motherless, abused, neglected, homeless, and forgotten children growing up in our society.
Your choice to do any of these things could literally mean:
- The difference between the life and death of a child.
- The difference between a child being tired of life at 12 years old, or making a difference in this world at 12 years old.
- The difference between a child growing up to face a life of crime, or growing up to be a productive citizen.
I have heard it said so many times that it takes a village to raise a child. Will you do your part in that village? Even if you only have a positive impact on one child, YOU HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE in this world!
If you would like to help or need help, please use the numbers below as needed: (Numbers last updated 9/3/14)
- National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4 A Child (1-800-422-4453) (This is a 24/7 national hotline)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (This is a 24/7 national hotline)
- American Pregnancy Helpline: 1-866-942-6466 (This is a 24/7 national helpline)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters: 469-351-3100 (This is the National Office)
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Image Credit: Image found on Unsplash