Congratulation to my oldest son, Kyle! He graduated today from Lipscomb University with an MA in Theology. I am proud of him and hate we couldn’t make the trip.
As I write this, I am eating Doritos underneath a cloudless blue sky. Temps are around 70 degrees and it is an absolutely gorgeous day.
There are more boys around here than you can shake a stick at today. Good boys. Kind boys. Polite, respectful boys.
Most of them are Boy Scouts.
That’s something I never had any real experience with. I was a Webelos scout once for a short time. The only thing I really remember is getting introduced to dry ice. You can do some pretty cool things with dry ice.
But I digress.
I look at these kids and I am thankful that somebody has been a good influence. Somebody has infused them with good qualities. Obviously God has done His work, but others have developed, mentored, guided, disciplined, and corrected.
Like I said, good boys. I am glad some of them live under my roof.
Unfortunately, they come into contact with some kids in the school system who are not nearly so good. Or nice. Or polite. Or respectful.
I feel sorry for those kids.
And fearful too.
So far this school year our district has lost six children. I have grieved anew at each loss. For the parents especially. For our community. For the pain and anguish felt. For the salt each death has poured into my own wounds.
Some of those have been tragic horrible stupid accidents. But not all. At least one was a murder quite possibly committed by six other young people.
Bad kids that weren’t born that way.
I wonder what went wrong in their lives. Was it parents who were inattentive? Was it outside influences that could have been prevented?
I don’t know and I don’t presume to judge.
But I wonder and I worry.
And God help me, I can’t help but wonder what went wrong in Paul Buckman’s life. Was he influenced as a little boy? Did he get introduced to perversion as a teenager? Was he himself the victim of a sexual predator?
Those are questions to which no answers will be found. But still I wonder who or what could have made a difference. That difference just may have saved my family from a world of hurt and pain.
But it didn’t happen. Horror invaded. And we are left to pick up the pieces and move on.
And as we do, I am thankful for all who do strive to make a difference in young people’s lives. Your work is seen, noted, and appreciated.
And Boy Scouts? You guys are the bomb! Thanks for the hope you instill in those of us who are watching!
Les Ferguson, Jr.