On Monday, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about people who beat up a local crossing guard. This reminded me of how essential those caregivers are. When I was a child, my first superhero was our local crossing guard. Think about what they do. Each day, crossing guards literally stand in the gap and walk out into traffic to block off and protect our children from on coming cars. It's a thankless job. As summer approaches, especially in Santa Clarita, they roast their socks off. In winter, the street corner provides no protection from the elements. When the rain pours down, they don the bright orange poncho and take a beating, all in the name of child safety. Crossing guards are heroes.
Because of the harsh conditions in which they serve, crossing guards get injured more often then we realize. The Time's story tells of a crossing guard who was beaten and robbed of her sign and whistle while frightened children watched in the Florence-Firestone area. I recall crossing guard George Hammer who stepped out into traffic to lead the way for the children at Arroyo Seco Jr. high and was struck by a car only a couple years ago. A google search revealed crossing guards across the country experiencing the same types of trauma. They have been hit by cars and hospitalized in Louisiana, Boston, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, and Utah.
Parents know the value of a crossing guard, we place our trust in them each time we send our children off to school. Not to over play this or anything, but in a way, they remind me of a role Jesus plays. Don't roll your eyes yet, give this a chance. There is a gap between us and God. The world bombards us with many things and we struggle to seek and understand God. We long to get across that gap to God, there is no crosswalk, no light to stop the traffic of life separating us from Him. Jesus enables us to bridge that gap and come face to face with our maker. He told His disciples, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes the the Father except through me." (John 14:6)
Whether you see it that way or not, a crossing guard serves a vital role within our community and they deserve our kindness. When giving out our tips or gifts to those who help us, let's not forget the crossing guard. Tell your friends and remind other parents. Let's start a kindness to crossing guards campaign. Instead of ignoring their valiant efforts, hand them a note, get them a gift card, or make a point of stopping by, looking them in the eye and saying "Thank you for protecting my children, I appreciate you."
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