Miscellaneous Offenses

A new ordinance has been signed into law in New Braunfels, TX. Please be aware that it is soon to be an illegal “offense” to feed the wildlife on public and private land within the city limits.

That means that a sentence that has been both true (and legal) for my children and for me will not be true for my grandchildren–

When I was little I fed the deer at Landa Park.

I have a very distinct memory of my son holding out a graham cracker to one of the deer at the park.

There was a period of time when we went to the park–a park, every day to feed someone–duck, chicken, deer, squirrel, turtle, fish, goose…each animal encounter was a priceless chance to sustain my children’s empathy. They practiced compassion, mercy, self-sacrifice, even science, and the scientific method as they spent time observing and feeding animals.

When we went to feed the animals we also tended to feed the children. We bought food from dozens of local restaurants and groceries. We ate our picnic, hiked, fed the animals. This ordinance prohibiting the feeding of animals in New Braunfels will mean we will buy less food from all these places. We will spend less time and money in New Braunfels.

We will not feed the children at the parks of New Braunfels, if we cannot feed the animals as well. It will be too painful remembering what used to be, for one, but then there is the pesky inviolate injunction of the law. What if we were to drop a cracker or a pizza crust? According to the city ordnance we would be breaking the law.

So, somehow, our city government and elected officials have decided. We should not feed the animals they say. And that leaves me deeply grieved, because I know, my children know, that

What they are really telling us is:

Don’t feed the children!

Because as Jesus has said more eloquently than I could–food is more than food, it is everything that feeds our souls.

And this kind of rich food for the soul of kindness and community and blessing is now thoroughly illegal

In New Braunfels, Texas.

Luke 12:23 NIV

[23] For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Traveling Clothes

You wake up after

This utterly life-altering event

Dressed in your wedding clothes!?

In a TSA-ish place

Long lines, blue gloves, weary travelers

Only the music is surprisingly good

Break-up songs

Break up songs for people

You did not actually want to

Break up with 

Break up songs for old bones

Rough joints 

The fear of falling

But also the grandkids

And the possibility of

that elusive die-in-your-sleep-ending

Standing in line 

Somewhat dazed because the

Last thing you remember was planning

This church thing 

Windy road…some singing in the van 

The trip Home is always just

A normal day

But getting there-

heartbreaking

Murder on Easter Morning

Easter morning. 

The sun rises on a rolling hill in New Braunfels as worshippers gather to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

Yet as the dawn Christians  worship, a savage domestic drama unfolds within yards of the sanctuary.

Felix Antonio Nieves, seventeen years old, dies as the result of what news sources have described as a protracted domestic argument.

The accounts of the last moments of Nieves’ life describe multiple weapons–stun guns, a pistol, and the shotgun used to end his life.

What is shocking about this story?

7:15 on Easter morning?

The quiet neighborhood?

The proximity to a church?

Or the knowledge neighbors have that their neighbors include law enforcement officers?  That this is a neighborhood where people might feel safer because some of their own neighbors are officers of the peace?

Or again, that this neighborhood is within a mile or two of a police station?

Maybe.  But what shocks me is that in a protracted story of domestic violence, no one called for police intervention until a murder had already been committed.

What does that say about Texas?  About us?  About justice?

We should call the police before we load and shoot a gun.

Why didn’t they?  Why did no one call the police until it was too late to save one family from irrevocable tragedy?

The answers might surprise us all…if we were brave enough to face them.

Justin Carter–not all speech should be free

A young man the same age as Adam Lanza makes explicitly violent threats on Facebook and then his family cries foul and claims he is just a sarcastic teen?

Troubled at best. What he said was specific, disturbing, and directed at defenseless little children. He should be held accountable and care should be taken to protect little ones in his community. The way this case is handled will influence the way others use and misuse social media. Why should any of us tolerate hate speech against children?

We simply should not.

I hope and pray that prosecutors in this case fully investigate this man’s Internet history as well as how he has treated animals and children. Bullying words define a bully. Why should anyone wait until Mr. Carter chooses to act on words and threats too awful to repeat?

If Justin Carter gets a slap on the wrist, it will be a slap in the face to child advocacy. Our children deserve our protection.