It’s been quite a week for breaking news in Memphis. Sunday night an officer involved shooting in Mississippi, officer flown to the MED. Tuesday it was a helicopter crash that killed THREE people. Thursday, an active shooter at National Guard Armory in Millington, then a homicide and a house explosion. Saturday a deputy involved shooting in Tipton County.
It was a BUSY week and a reminder that we are all human. And that sometimes it’s VERY hard to report on the events in our city. But it also reinforces the importance of news media. People often give us a bad rap for covering “bad news” but this week was a classic case of the need to cover it anyway, to be the first and sometimes only people relaying information back to the public. At one point, even national media outlets were looking to us for INFO. It’s important stuff, even if it’s NOT good.
BUT that’s not the point of this blog, the point is to talk about one story I did this week, in the midst of the chaos, that shows the simplicity of a child and how much we can learn from their words.
One of the breaking news events was a helicopter crash that killed three. Hospital Wing pilot Charles Smith, Pedi-Flite nurse Carrie Barlow, and Pedi-Flite respiratory therapist Denise Adams were on their way to pick up a patient from a hospital in Bolivar when the helicopter went down near Somerville, TN. They all died on impact.
Charles Smith, was 47-year-old pilot and began his career at Hospital Wing in 2012. He retired from the aviation unit of the Memphis Police Department in 2012, after 25 years of service. He left behind a wife and TWO kids. They attend St. Ann’s Catholic School in Bartlett.
I got wind that the school was making cards for the family. Thursday morning I went to a 4th grade classroom while they were making their cards. The words of wisdom were so full of faith I had to pass it along:
“I hope your family won’t be that sad after you read this, we are always praying for you.”
“We are all saying a prayer for you.”
“I know how you feel. I lost my dad, too. Just know God will always love you and your dad will always love you, too.”
“Just remember God is watching over your family.”
“We will keep you in our prayers.”
“We love you and we’re praying for you.”
Keep in mind these kids are in 4TH GRADE!! Their words were so genuine and heartfelt. It brought a tear to my eye. And then made me think about how much we could learn from their words. If we had the faith of a child how easy would it be for us to trust God and follow his will? Sometimes growing up makes life complicated and the more we learn the more we lose the gift of simple faith. Luke 18:17 says: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
This week, these kids reminded me to keep it simple when it comes to faith. Trust God, know I’m not alone and keep going back to him for comfort and guidance.
It was a crazy week, with a lot of tragedy. But I can only hope that everyone hit by the tragedies can remember what I learned from these 4th graders.