“Suffer the little children”

My heart weeps for the victims of the Boston bombings. Particularly, I cannot throw off my sadness for the Richard parents of that little eight-year-old boy, Martin, who died and their daughter, Jane, whose leg was blown off.  Does their unspeakable grief break your heart, too? My sympathy pours out for Bill, the father as he grapples with losing his son and his desperate fear for his wife, Denise who is struggling to survive.  His despair as he grapples with the reality of his daughter’s terrible injuries must be profound.

There have been many bombings around the world and huge tolls in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. And it is true that we may become blaze watching so much suffering and chaos after each and every bombing whether an exploding car bomb or aircraft bombings. Always there are dead children gathered up from the debris.

Nor must be forget the excrutiating pain of Krystie Campbell’s mother as she tried to speak to the media about the death of her daughter.

However, this little boy’s death brings home the  horror, because he carried  the same surname as my grandsons and was the same age.  My eldest daughter Serena and her husband Jon, have two beautiful boys – my grandsons Samuel Richards is 11 years old and his younger brother, Angus Richards is 9 years old.  They are so full of life and mischief and if Jon was a marathon runner, I know they would both be at the finish line fighting about which of them would hug their dad first. My grand-daughter, their youngest sister, Josephine would have been there too vying for dad’s attention. And right there in the midst of them would have been my own daughter, the wife and mother.

This deadly act has driven home my understanding that if we look over the past 10 years, thousands of children like Martin, have died through the American invasion of Iraq, the civil war in Syria and the conflict in Afghanistan.

Oh, what a mess the world is in today. Everywhere you look or whatever channel on television you watch, there is slaughter in the name of this or that political or religious “cause’’.  One little boy lost  symbolises the futility of terrorist acts, whether home-grown or operating for overseas-based groups.

However, do we stop the slaughter of children?  How do we bring peace to our suffering planet?   The present legislation to tighten gun laws in the United States could have been one small step towards a more peaceful place yet that government failed to protection its people through gun restrictions and police checks on people who buy firearms. How shameful is that in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school tragedy?

Those little ones were all aged six – and my grand-daughter will turn six years old next month.

So, we should pray for comfort for the grieving parents as they try to comprehend what has happened to their lives.



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