Questions of Force and Faith

fad4155b84be7200030f6a7067009831The death of 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez has shaken this neighborhood along the U.S.-Mexico border, where parents already burdened by economic woes and street gangs are now faced with explaining the tragedy to their children.

Making it especially hard: It remains unclear to his parents and investigators why Jaime — a drum major who danced in his church’s annual religious festival, stayed out of gangs and had two parents who closely watched him — could swerve off course and bring a weapon to school. The weapon, police later determined, was a pellet gun. (link)

Reading this article makes me think about many things. The sadness the parents and friends must feel, the questions it opens and the wounds that will never heal. It makes me think about the questioning and second guessing the officers must be going thru, did we have to shoot to kill, did we do the right thing. It makes me wounded what was going on in the head of this young man, whom, by all reports I have read, seems like a normal 15 year old, staying clean and out of trouble.

It’s a sad story, and I truly feel for the parents and all involved, I pray for the young mans soul, and that God will have mercy on him.  But I feel that there is more to the story, that we are missing something…. I’m not say he was not a good boy, or that that parents were not good parents, but there is something missing…

I would have to say that most likely what was missing was community, safety and security with in the community. we all have hear that is take a village to raise a child, and its true. Think about it, we spend more time outside of the family than we do in it, as a school aged young man, he spent more hours away from home than in the home. Be it at the school or hanging out with friends. And that is as it should be, that is how a young man becomes a man. But the dynamics of that “village” plays a roll, a very big roll…

The village is not a physical location as much as it is a concept. The boundaries of the village grow and the youth grows, as a 8 year old, his village most likely was school and home, maybe daycare. His friends were local and his parents had more control over who he played with and not. As he grew, so did his village, as a 15 year old his village would now include more physical space, able to go more places and hang with more types of people. His school becomes just one of many places with in the village. And his parents influence is, to some degree, less than the influence of his friends. And all this is as it should be, the process of growing up, and becoming a young man.

It is this force that helps shape the boy into a man, and by all accounts it seemed to be doing a fine job. So what happen, what made this young man bring a gun, all-be-it a harmless gun, but still a gun, to school. What possessed him to run thru the halls, refusing to put it down? All questions we will never know the answer to. Sad… Very sad…

But now this is were faith comes in, the parents must have faith that they did the best they could, that they did not let there son down, and faith that God, in HIs own way, will make it all clear to them. But we must also examine the village, and see were, if any, safety nets may have failed. Was there a sign that was over looked, was he crying for help, but know one noticed, or cared to take action. Just questions…

God Bless

Paul W Sposite

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