LEAVE A PORCH LIGHT ON FOR HAILEY OWENS

porch light

LEAVE THE PORCHLIGHT ON FOR HAILEY OWENS

Children should grow up innocent

collecting fire flies in jars,

playing outside until dark, under the stars

and not be fearful of the car or truck

driving down the street.

Gone are the days of a dreamy haze

where you could trust everyone that walked on by.

I pray for all families whose children are lost,

taken or gone because we as parents

have to become aware that our children,

our treasures, we must keep them safe,

and we have to have faith

that there is still good in this world.

 On February 18, 2014 innocence was lost for a 10 year old girl in Springfield, MO. Hailey Owens was innocently walking home when a man asked her for directions, which in turn ended her sweet life. This man did the unthinkable of scooping her up into his truck, and taking her away and ending her life. It makes all that life is all the harder to comprehend.

I am a Christian, yet I am mad, and I am filled with compassion for Hailey’s family and friends, classmates and teachers and also for this man’s family that did the unthinkable. Everyone has a story behind their life’s dreams wishes, fears and frustrations. Yet, as I try to comprehend what this man did, I can’t help but wonder what his life was like. Did he love? Did he love so deeply at one point in his life? Did he have children and a wife? Did his parents love him? And so, as I try to make sense of this unspeakable act, I wondered will he go to heaven? Does he feel remorse for what he’s done?

It brought me to thinking of the time when Christ walked the streets, amongst his friends and family, and how our ancestors treated him on that one fateful day when he died for all of us on the cross. How we beat him, stoned him and yet he stilled loved. He forgave all those that spit on him, beat him and even the other two men hanging on crosses next to him. He forgave all. With that kind of compassion in his heart, he still met his destiny with grace. He pours grace out on us every day.

So, if Christ can forgive, how do we find it in our hearts to find compassion in our souls? How do we understand what this man did on one fateful night in February, in the town of Springfield, MO? How do you help this town heal from an unthinkable act of killing one of our beloved children? If anything, we learn to live. We learn to love our children like never before. We learn to teach our children to be kind and loving. We teach them to be mindful of the bad in this world, yet if we teach them kindness we may turn this world into a more forgiving planet.

Our children deserve to fun free, catching fire flies in jars, yet we have to be mindful that it is our responsibility as parents to keep them safe, even when we can’t. So, we must pray, and pray hard that God will protect them from all the bad in this world. We have to have faith that his will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Leave a porch light on for Hailey started last night, where everyone, everywhere was to leave a porch light on in Hailey’s memory. As I went outside, every porch light was on in my neighborhood, and I knew at that particular moment in time that we do have compassion for each other. We lit the way for Hailey to go home. We lit the way for her to be lifted up to heaven. We lit the way, and we all left A Porch Light on For Hailey.

SANDIE HECKMAN

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