Effective leaders recognize where their power ends and where sharing their source of wisdom can bring wounded warriors together for a stronger future.
Imagine a stressed out mother running errands for her family. While shopping for the freshest foods at the local farmer’s market, she is distracted by three little boys who cannot seem to stop fighting and who are wanting to explore everything. But, in the middle of her frustration, the oldest child restrains one of the younger ones by saying, “You cannot go close to the edge. … Because you are more important than me. When I die, you will still be here.” It seemed like a message whispered to me in the chaos of a world spinning out of control. A little reminder that God still speaks strength through the mouths of babes and sucklings (Psalm 8:2).
The Cambridge Dictionary defines the literary saying, “out of the mouths of babes (and sucklings)” as “when a child says something that surprises you because it seems very wise” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/out-of-the-mouths-of-babes-and-sucklings). Other meanings of the biblical text from Psalm 8:2, include: “an old/a wise head on young shoulders”; discerning; discriminating; perspicacious; sapient; and wise.
And, so today, we look to the children to remind us of why we need to create safe spaces and to respond appropriately to everything that threatens our security.
There are no words of grief to comfort the ones wounded in the mass shooting at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas yesterday (Kaur, 2019; https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/el-paso-tx-shooting-live-updates/index.html). It was a special sales day in an international zone at the US-Mexico border where thousands were out shopping for back to school supplies with the future in mind. Yet, while they looked to the future, they were traumatized by the thunder of gunshots.
But, there are words of gratitude that we can offer for the older ones who shepherded the younger ones to safety. There are words of gratitude for thefirst responders (on or off duty) who sprung into action to eliminate the threat to life of a community.(Mitchell, 2019).
Today, many church goers from the wounded Texas community, and everyone connected to them as family and friends across the world, will be making a special prayer for wisdom at the feet of a gentle Saviour who binds up all our wounds.
As you pray, remember to pray for strong communities that can spot the threat of a broken mind and heart. For inspiration, consider Simple Treasures at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=simple+treasures+by+keisha+a.+mitchell&ref=nb_sb_noss; or about what we believe, crises we face and finding a new normal in The Courage to be Free at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .