Boys and Turtles Revisited

 Originally Published July 2015

A week ago, Sunday July 12th, I was inspired to sit and write Boys and Turtles.  Although the events had happened some time ago they begged to be put down. A simple, and as my husband pointed out somewhat long post,  that appeared to be about taking time to help others was really a little bit deeper than that.

     On Thursday July 16, 2015, four days after I posted Boys and Turtles,  a man went on a shooting rampage that has claimed the lives of four Marines and a Sailor.

     For those that read and thought that Boys and Turtles was about being a Good Samaritan…, it was more.  The tiny turtle with his broken shell and smashed in head are the individuals in this world that we wait to help. The broken turtles are the girls who define their self esteem by their sexuality, the runaways, the misfits,  the children who spend hours playing first person shooter games until they become desensitized to violence against others, and  those who suffer silently with mental illness until they take their lives. The broken turtles are the Boston Bombers, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Fort Hood, Colorado Theatre and Charleston Church Shooters. The tiny turtles are countless Americans who hear the cry of Isil and believe in it. The tiny turtles poised to cross the street into danger …are the individuals whose choice of the wrong path leads to their death or the death of innocents.

     The boy on the sidewalk has not yet gone down the fatal road.   Face hidden and withdrawn from the world; he represents individuals before they descend completely into  darkness.  He is lost, despondent, but not yet completely broken.  We are not brought into this world full of evil thoughts and ideas.  We are shaped by our circumstances, by the nurturing or lack thereof throughout our life.  We have all been like that boy, sitting somewhere alone in danger of  becoming  a smashed turtle. We have contemplated paths that were not the right ones.  Some of us have been closer than others.  Some of us may be close even now, and our friends and family have no clue.

     There are those of us who were fortunate enough that in our dark moments someone  noticed and took the time to care before it was too late. There are those us of us with a belief system so strong that the mantra “Jesus Saves” carries us through those rough patches.  My heart goes out to the family and friends of those lost this past week.  I vow to keep a watchful eye, to unplug and really look at people, to ask for help when I need it, and to be watchful of the whispered call for help from others.


if you or someone you know is in distress:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.


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