A story came across the Dallas news this past weekend.-Breaking news about a very broken person. Apparently a man who authorities say opened fire outside Dallas police headquarters from his parked van that was armed with explosives. Authorities said the shooting miraculously left no one else dead or injured. Among the areas damaged inside: the front desk receptionist had “just so happened” to get a soft drink.
The suspect also fired on officers who drove up to confront, riddling at least one squad car with bullets not actually hitting anyone. The van then fled, eventually stopping in a restaurant parking lot where the standoff ensued until the police sniper shot and killed the man. After the man was confirmed dead, the van was engulfed in flames.
One phrase hit me in particular, “He had strong feelings against law enforcement after he lost custody of his son, now 12 or 13 years old.”
My question is what thoughts are going through that son’s mind about his father?
The poor kid is in a place now where he doesn’t know those around him and he’s angry and hurt.
He feels alone. He might feel at fault. I have come to know flashbacks happen to more than soldiers. Wars happen to more places than overseas.
How many kids are in this situation where the fathers are supposed to be noble and mothers, who are supposed to be there, aren’t? For whatever reason, the child is left in the throes of life and they’re looking for answers. Where are they going to go for security?
They’re the ones who get the short end of the stick.
And it’s not fair. And it does hurt. To the kid who just lost their dad to the drug bust that just so happened to be that “one more time”? My heart goes out to you. Loneliness is a real thing felt by real people and the feelings of abandonment are real. There are real problems out there and it doesn’t help to just let Child Protective Services come and rescue the children. The truth is that at the end of the day, that 12 or 13 year old kid is still wondering what was wrong with them that their parents weren’t at home that night and turned to drugs instead.
If you’re reading this and you need answers, I want you to know you are loved more than you will ever know. Please don’t try to make sense of the craziness. Sometimes crap does not happen for a reason. Sometimes we just live in a broken world with broken people. Sometimes our “why” questions are not answered. And life does hand us things that we cannot handle. And it’s not fair. And it hurts. And I don’t know why. And it’s okay not to know why.
But you know what? There is good news. And I’m not talking about the happy go lucky the situation isn’t real so let’s play pretend good news. There is a loving Father who can take our brokenness and our questions and our hurts and make it beautiful for the history books. He catches your tears every time they swell in your eyes and roll down your cheeks. To the hurting, there is a Healer. His name is Jesus and He is waiting with open arms to mend those broken places. From one who is one of the many former children of the system?
I say to you, you’re not alone. Papa is the Father to the Fatherless.
He places orphans into families.