I have this fear...
I have a story to tell you. It's a true story, but to protect the integrity of a few, I will leave their identities concealed.
I took my children along with some others to a park yesterday. Before we unloaded at the park I, once again, gave "the talk". You know the one I'm talking about. It's the "don't wander off or go with strangers" talk. I think I've put a healthy fear in my children about this. If anyone disagrees about the need for such things, just watch the movie "Absolute Wickedness" on youtube. It's about two hours long, but after watching it you'll understand my reasoning. Anyway, I never like to go to the park we went to because there are just too many "hiding places" for lurkers. Honestly, it takes a whole crew of responsible people to adequately watch over the size of the group of children I usually have with me in this park. Between my three oldest girls and my another mom we were watching over ten younger children.
The first thing I do when I get to this park is scope out who's there and try to identify what children belong to them. There's a high point in this park from which I can see almost everything. So I was standing there turning my circles and counting heads like I usually do. My immediate concern was a young teen who looked to be about 15 years old who was with a younger boy about 12 years old. There was just something not quite right about the two, so while constantly counting the kids, I kept my eye on them. And what do you know...one of the little ones in my charge wandered over to the swings where these boys were "hanging out". Within seconds this little one jumped on the tire swing and this teen jumped up and began spinning the swing at a dangerous speed. Needless to say, Mama Bear roared. And I roared loud enough for the entire park to stop. And from my "perch" I pointed and the other mom, who was nearest, immediately ran to the "rescue" of this little one. The teenager began defending his actions, spouting off his innocence and justifying his senselessness. This whole situation happened in a matter of seconds. His last words to us were, "I was going to keep spinning (this little one) until I was told to stop", then he casually walked off, as if there was no shame in his meanness. It was clear that this boy had no remorse and actually took delight in the thought of hurting children. After things were dealt with he kept his distance from me, but there is no question in my mind what he would have done had we not been there to intervene.
This scenario is not a rare thing to happen. It seems at every turn there is evil awaiting those who are unsuspecting or unprepared to resist it. Unfortunately for children, there are many parents who don't know how easy it is for a young child to be cornered and within mere second fall prey to evil people who lie in wait for an opportunity to act out their desires.
One thing I've learned in life is that Satan doesn't wait for a stage. He and his minions creep in quietly and subtley, sneaking in whenever opportunity gives rise. It's amazing how many people don't realize this. They feel that being on guard is extreme and that they will "just know" when evil is present as if it will make itself obvious. But it doesn't work that way. Just like this boy, Satan is always hanging around lurking, waiting for an opportunity to single out his next victem. That is why scripture tells us to be vigilant and keep watch. Our enemy is prowling, and he means to devour us one by one until we are destroyed. And he will not rest until the day he is bound for all eternity.
I have this fear for my children. Yes, because of the actual physical threats to their safety, but more so because the eternal war that is being waged against their souls. Evil will gain a foothold where ever it can. And it is up to me to teach them to be vigilant and watch in order to guard against the evil that lurks. But even when I do a good job of teaching and warning, the gravity of the situation may not always sink in, and that is why I must keep a watchful eye on them.
Someday my children will be able to stand ready and prepared to fight on their own. But until then, I do not and will never take lightly the responsibility of keeping watch over them both physically and spiritually. I'll fight for them until they learn to fight for themselves. That is my Mama Bear promise. :)