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Timothy Griffin: Looking Up

My Big Kid

(Timothy Griffin)
August 10, 2017

TJ_Maine.jpgThis afternoon, I took my son to get his annual sports physical. As I sat there, looking at this young man who is close to looking me eye-to-eye, it wasn’t hard for me to envision the boy he was a short time ago … three inches of growth this last year, probably five in the last two years. He is developing physically and mentally, but the reality is, he’s a big kid – my big kid.

And as I sat, in that moment, my heart ached for parents who no longer have the opportunity to sit with and love on their big kids … kids who to some in society had the imposing presence of a man, but in reality were not.

In that moment, I thought of the needless lives that have been lost because of those with a touch of power who refused to take one extra moment and think of their own boys who are blossoming into young men, but at the core are still boys.

What kind of society are we, when we can’t show enough love to pause for an extra second, and consider “the life standing feet away from my weaponized hands could very well be my blood.” Instead the lack of human decency that exists within the powerful, the power-hungry and powerless looks more like mindless mammals void of conscious, intellect and choice.  

So now as I sit here, revealing a touch of the silent pain I’ve carried over the last few years, my heartfelt prayer is, “God help me to hold my big kid close a while longer, help me to see him safely navigate from a boy to a man. Should you tarry, let him bury me and not me him. Help me to educate him not just to safety, but to also educate him to love – your love, for that’s what’s missing. Help him to grow to be a voice that sees and speaks to obvious differences, but celebrates and embraces them as a visualization of your power and might. Simultaneously help him to recognize the sameness that has the power to join us together. Finally, in the meantime, help me not to become bitter, guarded and callous by what is, but as I look up, to be a loving, long-suffering, builder of bridges, pushing toward what could be.”