This New Year’s Eve was a bit unconventional for our family in many ways. On a funny note, we spent the first part of our evening at ….Chuck E Cheese’s! The kid’s had anticipated a fun trip to a farm, and so when that was canceled, we had to come up with something. We decided that it could be either fun or a disaster, but thought it was worth a try. I guess I began to realize how different my life really is when we loaded up in the van to pick up a friend from down the street to take with us. Brandon is almost 7 years old and over at our house all the time – he and Bryce have become pretty good friends.
When we pulled up to his house and rolled down the window we could see a group of about 10 kids playing some sort of ball in the street. Just then, we heard a series of gunshots. The kids began running in our direction and Brandon’s mom began shaking her head – “They are just so stupid.” The gunshots were just for “fun” in anticipation of the New Year celebration. I have so much to learn.
Well, Chuck and the gang was a blast – not so many people there and of course I won 66 tickets at the Bonus game again. (Should I take a trip to Vegas? The ministry could really benefit from my skills!)
When we got home Bryan and I watched the Ball drop at 11:00 and then he kissed me goodbye – he was going to meet a local pastor at a Watch night service. I must add in here that the Lord has given me the Peace of Christ that passes all understanding. I am serious when I say that I am perfectly fine with being in my house with my children at night. I have the Lord. And angels. And burglar bars. And an alarm system. And a German Shepherd. You get the idea.
Well, I had just fallen asleep and then I heard them. I thought they were fireworks and some of it may have been. But then I remembered what I heard earlier that evening. Gunshots. Lots of them. Semi-automatic weapons sounding off. Ringing in the New Year. I must admit it was a little scary sounding and strange. Why is that fun? Why aren’t fireworks enough?
The next morning we heard that a 7-year old boy was shot the night before and died from the gun wound. He was not Brandon, but it could have easily happened to any of the kids on our street. The shooting actually occurred in the Housing Project that is next to our neighborhood. We heard at first that it was a stray bullet from a “celebration” round. Then we found out that it was from a drive-by shooting – someone taking advantage of the expected gunfire. Thank you, Lord, that it wasn’t Brandon. Please be with the family of that sweet child.
How do you ring in the new year?