I’ll admit, I don’t watch or read the news like I should, but on Monday, for some reason I turned the television on. It wasn’t long before I regretted it.
First, there was the tragic shooting in my hometown. The suspects were teenage kids and my heart went out not only to the victim and his family, but also to the young lives that would be forever changed because of the violence. Then it was the regional news. The local government was haggling over a budget and threats of a government shutdown were swirling. Politics as usual it seemed, and again, I was tempted to turn it off.
By the time the national news began I was slumping. I sulked through reports of the fragile situation of Iraq, the rest of the Middle East, and the steady terror of the world in general. What can I say, I’m a sensitive guy. But then came the reports of a car-jacking in Houston. The assailant took off in a jeep with an eight month old baby in the back seat. When he realized the situation he simply pulled over and set the baby on the side of the road.
Rock bottom. I turned the tv off. My chest tightened, and a sinking dread left me staring out at my window, dazed and reeling from the desolation of humanity. Maybe the world has always been like this, it just wasn’t so reported.
And just as I was down for the count, I heard the patter of footsteps down the hall followed by a familiar little giggle. My son stopped in the doorway, his bright eyes glazed with happiness and his cheeks rounded with a smile. I felt the stress evaporate.
Is the world perfect? Not even close. But when my son came running, arms outstretched as he fell into me for a hug, I felt just how beautiful and innocent the world can be.