I was sitting in an ice cream shop with my kids and husband one Saturday afternoon many months ago and a TV was showing the news in a corner of the shop. A few days prior, a 4 year old boy fell into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, and this was the story on every news channel all weekend long. As we know, he survived the incident, but the gorilla was shot dead to protect the young boy’s life. One of the shop owners was sweeping near the TV and commented to another employee that they "just should have shot the mother instead." My stomach lurched in shock and anger; but, apparently this sentiment had been echoed in comment sections, petitions, and Twitter feeds around the world. What is it, I wondered, that made people feel that the only logical conclusion to this terrible accident was that she was a bad mother?
I know what you may be thinking.. “Mindfulness? Isn’t that practiced in Buddhism?” or “is practicing mindfulness considered a Christian practice?” Before I begin I think its best we define mindfulness and “being mindful”.
Mindfulness is about bringing awareness to what we are doing, thinking and feeling at the moment you are doing, thinking and feeling it. As Christians we so long to stay connected and focused to God and God’s kingdom, but we can agree and recognize that our fears, anxieties, insecurities and the negativity in this world often times interfere with this focus and our ability to stay present.