Ok that may be pushing it, but it’s not really that far off…it was actually kangaroos, but sure enough in a split second there was my 2 year old chasing a kangaroo…and someone yelling to get him out of there because they aren’t too kind to strangers invading their space. Blind terror…and I was just on the other side of a rope from him…so no I do not judge the family of the boy who landed himself in with the gorilla. Because even in our best efforts to keep tabs on these little kiddos of ours, there are times that they slip away. I am thankful my story had a good outcome and it didn’t make national news. Judgement of the parents behind us in line was enough for me.
And that beautiful creature God created for us, it saddens me that he lost his life, but I’m all about saving human life, no matter the cause or case, especially innocent child life. And I do not think for one second any animal loving human would have chosen the life of the gorilla over that of their child, niece or nephew or a friend’s young one, I do not believe it at all. We are so quick to pass judgement like we are perfect in all of our ways, and nothing bad has ever happened to us or we would have had the perfect solution to save them both…but when we take a deep look at ourselves, when I take that deep look at myself, I see a plethora of errors especially when it comes to my parenting, so no I will not judge that family or whoever killed the gorilla.
Years ago I watched a story on Good Morning America about a woman who’s child died from being hung by the cords on old min-blinds. I listened as all these people ranted about what an awful mother she was…and I sat and thought about how often my kids, young at the time, like between 2-6 years old, play in their rooms while I clean the kitchen or prepare lunch and how that could have been my child, any one of them. I often found our son hanging on the door frames of our house, he was a climber, he was and remains curious and will push any button he comes across – and it all could have happened to me. And this allows me the opportunity to show my gratitude for my blessings.
I’m reminded of Matthew 7:2, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” GULP…that’s a hard one to swallow…makes me think about all the times I have judged, good heavens makes me not want to think about it, I am thankful for a Father that forgives. And I hope in the same way we are able to forgive each other, this family and be thankful that a child was able to be saved.
I know I’ve shared the story before about how I went to swap laundry and my toddler who I told where I was going, couldn’t remember so he decided to take a walk down the bus stop alone – which is a block down the street – with no sidewalks, on a busy street – I don’t know all the medical stuff that happens to your body when you are in a situation like that, but it feels like your heart will leave your chest and time stands still in your frantic-ness. And when you finally see that little person of yours standing holding the hand of an elderly lady off in the distance…relief, sheer joy-filled relief. So yeah if my child or any other child was being dragged around by a gorilla, I would hope anyone and everyone would do anything and everything in their power to save the child.
It’s not pretty, but life isn’t always pretty, and I don’t think one of us ever sets out with thoughts of, “I hope I get into a 10 car pile up on my way to work today”, let alone, “going to the zoo tomorrow, sure hope my kid falls in with a 400lb gorilla.” Seriously we need to stop and think and pray before we make such judgements, because why not me, why not you? Why wouldn’t something like that happen to me? And how would I want to be treated in the midst of my pain and suffering? My always go to for myself and my kids… “As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”, Luke 6:31
Life happens in split seconds, faster than we can make a decision, and most decisions in every day life, especially as a stay at home mom are aren’t even posed as a choice, we just do…and sometimes we do wrong, and have to face the consequences and sometimes we never even know we made a choice because nothing comes of it. We just fold the wash and our kid is still playing in his room when we come back up – but not always. And it could have been me. How many times have I turned my back while my kids were in the tub to grab a washcloth- how many times did I walk out of the house while they were playing to get the mail – how many times did I turn my head to pick up fresh produce and they almost did a header from the cart – how many times have I let them play at the park alone- how many times have I allowed them to ride their bike to a new friend’s house…we do what’s best at the moment, in the moment…and when it doesn’t turn out right for us, for me, I pray that we would extend grace…because there are mommas and families hurting tonight because of wrong choices they made, or for a split second turn of the head…the kid that went to play basketball at the park and never came home…and it could have been me.