Imagine driving past middle and high schools and they start to disappear. Taking every student inside with them. Young friends and family members just gone with no explanation, no trace of existence. The common thread is not race, religion, or gender, but rather it is their age. The average American middle school has 600 students, ages 10-13. The average American high school has 700 students, ages 14-18. Together they make up 40% of the United States student population and many are susceptible to being trafficked.
If my mother was told the yard rake would have helped, she would have used it. Instead, she pushed the brush’s teeth into my thick tangled knots and raked. In and out, stops and starts, the hairy tangles meeting stubborn teeth of the brush’s end. I hated my hair being brushed and chose never to do it. But like most mothers, our choices affected her; and, like all great mothers, she took them in stride.
God has been showing me a lot about peace this year. What has stuck out to me most is that peace is not a byproduct of Jesus but rather IS Jesus. The more we seek and abide in him, the more peace we feel because his Holy Spirit dwells in us. Let me provide an analogy:
Many beekeepers prefer using a veil when inspecting their hives. Thousands of bees literally around us. Most of the time they are kind, but they are created to defend their hive. The sting is powerful. Last April, on Easter, I didn’t wear my veil and as I quickly moved something in the bee yard, a guard bee stung me in the temple. The sting to my face really brought new meaning to “oh death where is your sting”. It took three days for the swelling to subside. It was painful and embarrassing. I should have worn my veil.