Missing the Point


Image source: Aurora Metropolis
Last September 20, 2011, at SM City Pampanga, a 13-year-old boy shot his 16-year-old boyfriend and then shot himself. Both of them already died after a few days. “The shooting was the second in about a week inside one of the country’s biggest mall chains, SM malls, where guards are posted at entrances and bomb-sniffing dogs patrol the premises to deter crime and terrorist threats.” (Yahoo! News Philippines) Almost a week before, September 14, at SM City North, a woman fatally shot her estranged husband and a security guard who tried to stop her from killing herself. Now, there’s a public outcry about safety in the malls and gun control. How were they able to sneak in those guns? We are frisked and our bags were scanned with metal detectors whenever we enter the mall.

Urgent as they may appear to be, I think we are missing the point. Of course, we need to be and to feel safe whenever we enjoy the national pastime of malling. Yet, there’s not much uproar about the fact that the teenagers had a homosexual relationship (“the boys were in a romantic relationship after meeting through Facebook in May.” Ibid) and that the couple got separated because of another woman. Those were crimes of passion. “The 13-year-old, apparently in a fit of jealously, left a suicide note that he was ‘willing to die together with’ his friend”. (Ibid) The woman was confronting her husband for failing to support their 5-year-old daughter.

More than just our security, we need to focus on soul-searching. Isn’t it disturbing to read that, according to the police, “The relationship was not known to either boy’s parents”? (Inquirer.Net) I heard over the radio the news interview of the father of one of the boys who bewailed that the money he saved up for his child’s education will now be spent on his coffin instead. Could it be that these incidents are just the proverbial tip of the iceberg, that is, family breakdown? What if the parents were more vigilant in monitoring their children’s Internet habits? What if the couple decided to work on their marriage instead of giving up altogether? Could these incidents have been prevented? We need to face the mirror ourselves. It could have happened to anyone of us.

That’s why we need to be reminded: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”(Psalm 127:1, ESV) The strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families. We can only be strong when the Lord Himself builds our household. We need not build in vain.

My take? Let us focus on our families.



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