Safe Return for Jessica Ridgeway - My Remarks from a Vigil Last Night
was asked to speak last night at vigil last night for the safe return of
Jessica Ridgeway.Here are my remarks:
of you who have read my books or heard me speak, know that I cannot stand
before you today and offer a prayer to God to please bring Jessica home.
can I stand before you tonight and offer a prayer to
God to please keep her safe.
I wish I could.
I don’t think it works that way and I don’t believe in that kind of God.
what do I believe?
believe in you.
believe in the 800 volunteers who searched Saturday in Westminster.
believe in the 100's of you who have spent hours distributing missing person
what do I believe?
believe in the power of community to hold each other when we are in pain and to
support each other when we have fallen.
believe in the power of you and me to look out for the vulnerable.
watch out for each other and to watch out for each other’s children.
know there are monsters out there. We all know.
remember, the way Jaycee Dugard was ultimately freed was when a mom -- a
mother -- had a hunch that something was wrong and followed up on it.
you know what keeps me up at night?
of them called 911 to report something funny going on next door.The police checked it out. The officer said, everything
I had been that neighbor, would I have had the tenacity to call back the next day
and the next and the next, even if they said I was being a busy body, until finally
Jaycee was found?
Look, we don’t want to live in a world in which we are all spying of each
other, where we are all living in suspicion.
we want is to live in a world where we look out for each other, where we
support each other.
and I know that abducted children have been saved time
and time again by a vigilant stranger noticing something odd and reporting it.
and I know also that there are people who have contemplated vicious acts and
decided not to go through with them because at the last minute, a stranger
offered a kind word or performed a gracious deed.
believe that you and I must continue to create a world where
we treat each other with kindness, compassion, and justice.
Monday my 8-year old was sick. I emailed the staff at her school to say I was
keeping her home. On Thursday, before Jessica disappeared, that method of
notification would have been sufficient.
after Friday, it was not.
school called every single number they had for me until they reached me in
person to confirm my daughter was simply home sick.
wept in gratitude for their concern and their diligence.
we stand together as a community, to express our pain, our love, our dismay,
and with it all we, commit ourselves to create a safer world for all of our
children, for all of us.
is a psalm I would be honored if you would sing with me. The Hebrew means, “How
good it is when we live together in peace.” Let me teach you the words and
then, won’t you sing it with me? (October 9, 2012)