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A Necessary Millstone

I was shopping with my sister. Two women passed us in the store going in the opposite direction. Before I saw him, I heard the younger of the two women exclaim loudly, “No, you stay close to us so you don’t get kidnapped.” At that moment, I saw the young lad about nine years old come around a corner and catch up quickly to the ladies he was clearly accompanying.

“Good mom.” I said to my sister, loud enough so the others could hear. I wanted her to know I was in full agreement with her sharp instruction. Then, using my inside voice, I said, “Good for her. I bet she’s seen Sound of Freedom.”

About a week before this interaction, we were stopped at a roadside rest stop while traveling out of town. As I came out of my stall, one young girl had just finished washing her hands and had pushed the button for the hot air dryer. Another girl, her age, was opening the door to leave. The one drying her hands, yelled out, “NO! Don’t leave me. Stay here with me! I’m almost done.” She left quickly to follow her friend. I wanted to catch up to them to commend the girls and encourage them to always stay together.

While we don’t want to deliberately instill undue fear in our children, stranger danger these days is very real. In the past month, every few days we have heard of children who are going missing in Nova Scotia. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an operation going on there right now. It’s heart-breaking, and infuriating.

The United States is among the largest consumers of child sex trafficking, along with her northern neighbor, Canada. This ought not to be. My prayer is that more and more people will be like that Mom who admonished her son, and like those girls who were sticking together.

Parents, stay with your children. Mom, if you’re traveling with your son, stand outside the door and be vigilant. Same for Dads. When you go on a trip, let your kids bring their friends if possible so they can do things in groups rather than alone. Teach them to scream bloody murder and to run for help if at all possible if they ever feel danger in their situation.

The fear of the Lord is not about being afraid if you do what is right. So, also, the fear of danger lurking close by is about the wisdom of being aware, and not afraid. It’s unfortunate, but today we must make sure our kids are street wise and that’s not just a matter anymore of looking both ways before you cross the street.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.” - Luke 17:1-2.


Father, please help us to do all we need to do to protect our children and to raise them with a healthy fear of God and humans. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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