Monday, March 15, 2010

The Safety Zone

After I wrote about Patsy Clairmont last week I was reminded about The Safety Zone. The Safety Zone is what I’ve always called our Home. It’s another place where we can start teaching our children about how to be the people we want to send out into the world. After my daughter Stephanie went through a rough week recently I wrote her a letter to try and help lift her spirits. I’ll share some of what I wrote to her with you.

My Dearest Stephanie,

What you experienced is quite sadly just a small taste of what is in store for you as you make your way into the real world and begin your adult life. There were days I often felt like a lonesome trailblazer and a minister of my own religion when I started preaching my personal message in our Home. You grew up in the Safety Zone, free from hate and cruelty. Do you remember? Those were family rules. Sadly, others have not. I’ve always told you how people are products of their environments and only have learned skills based upon their parental role models.

If others grew up in a house where they heard derogatory comments, gossip, racial slurs and opinions on beauty, weight and popularity, they grew up programmed to think those are standard and acceptable topics of conversation. You, however, grew up in a cruelty free, hate free zone. We did not indulge in gossip. We don't consider ourselves authorities on beauty, because how can it be measured? Weight, being something that is inside a person's clothes, would be considered a personal matter, and therefore not our business...much like a person's sexual preference. We don't discuss that kind of stuff. There are bigger and better things in the world like love, peace, acceptance and joy.

You and Sam were not allowed to indulge in unkindness towards each other, which others have laughed about. We didn't find it funny at all. Our home was a haven, The Safety Zone, a place to go from the cruelties of the world. Not everyone grew up like this. The people out in the world you are going to be spending your adult life with have come from a variety of homes. I've preached a lot about giving them grace because of our Biblical teachings and because not everyone has been blessed with an upbringing as wonderful and loving as yours.

I guess people can only be allowed a certain amount of grace. Because I, like you, have to actually blaze the trail and try to spread a message about how wrong meanness, gossip, cruelty, hate, racism and injustice are. You were a trailblazer last night. A witness to the faith and a preacher after my own heart. I am proud beyond words. You stand 10 feet tall for not sitting down. You inspire me.

I Love you with all my heart,

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32


  1. Jodes,
    What a beautiful, eloquent letter. Your children are so lucky to have you as a mother!! I too was raised in a "safe zone". I always told my kids we were color blind growing up....that God created everyone as equals and loved everyone. It is the way I have tried to raise my own children and it is a constant battle against the outside world influences, but a fight well worth the time & energy. Thank you for sharing this lesson and reminding me how important the battle is!!
    I love ya bunches....keep blogging.
    XOXOX Meg

  2. AMEN to all of the above - beautiful letter Jodes!