A Mom's Late-Night Thoughts... Melissa Ledbetter


(reflecting on the loss of our neighbor's son to street violence)

Just a few short steps down my street tonight

A mom is thinking about

The first steps and the first words and the birthdays

And the struggles and the successes, the wins and the losses,

The would haves and the should haves,

And the dids.

Because it’s all wrapped up, this beautiful life – a son, her son,

Her boy who she will lay to rest once for real and then

Over and over

As each cold day brings back that November day

When life came to a screeching halt

And a mother lost her child to these shots.

These shots that we all keep talking about –

But the tragedy is not in the shots

But in a poverty of the soul that

Is killing us, killing us.

There is beauty all around and there is pain all around

And we live in tension, always in the tension.

There is no guilt in taking in the beauty because

We see it through a lens of awareness

Of the pain all around us, and it is heavy.

But the beauty is even more beautiful when we

Know the flipside and remember that

God gave us only two hands and that

They are far too small for carrying the

Weight of the world.

It would be so easy if Jesus said

They will know you are Christians

By your bracelets and plates and fish decals

But He gave us something infinitely harder and

More beautiful and overwhelming and


He said that they will know us by our love –

It is reckless and it is raging and

It’s not easy and it’s not pretty and

It. Is. Hard.

But they will know we are Christians

By our love

And when we get ahold of it and

We get a glimpse of it and

Even begin to understand the freedom

And the goodness and the space that God has for us

It. Changes. Everything.

#trauma #justice #lament #neighborhood #wholeness


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