Glennon Melton from Momastery has said it before: The world is both a brutal and a beautiful place. It’s brutiful.
I’m sure that everyone says this when a tragedy hits close to home, so by no means am I the first one. But my heart was struck doubly when I heard about Hailey Owens, a ten-year-old girl from my college town who was kidnapped this week. I say “struck doubly” because whose heart would not be pierced by hearing about a kidnapping anywhere in the world? But add onto it a town you know well, and that’s that. “Doubly.”
Today I learned that Hailey’s body was found in her kidnapper’s home. Her kidnapper has been a part of the public school system in our town since 1998. He grabbed her under the guise of needing directions.
The world is a brutal, tragic, and terrible place.
I am so proud of my town for the way they’ve responded. They’ve absolutely operated as community, from the very first announcement of an amber alert through now. One neighbor chased after the kidnapper’s truck by foot, another by car. Due to rapid community action, Hailey’s body was found just three hours after the abduction took place.
As for current opportunities for response, you can find out more here. One event that has already passed is
one that transpired last night. Edit: This event has just been extended through Saturday, February 22. In an effort to remember Hailey, families throughout America and around the world turned are turning on their porch lights all night long. KY3, our local news station, has compiled 78 photos so far that have been sent in to them of the event.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. The world is a brutal, tragic, and terrible place.
But would you allow me to share another story? Believe me, the world is brutiful – everywhere. Awful events occur all the time here in Thailand just as they do everywhere else. But genuinely good, kind, and helpful people still exist. Here and everywhere. Even still. The most amazing Thai people have given us rides where we’ve needed to go and have refused any money as a thank you. A family in Ayutthaya, for example, when we were about 20 minutes by car away from our hotel and public transportation was no longer running. A neighbor who I can barely speak with due to the language barrier but who has driven me to school twice simply because it’s on her way to work. And, of course, the neighbors in Springfield who responded immediately. Genuinely good, kind, and helpful people still exist. Evil still exists. The world is a brutal, tragic, terrible, beautiful, spectacular, awe-inspiring, fear-inducing place. It is absolutely brutiful.
May we remember Hailey Owens. Lord, save us from ourselves. Peace, peace to all.