Saturday, October 1, 2016

A Local Tragedy

This week's school shooting took place about 10 miles from our house, and just a little further than that from my school.  A father is dead, a first-grader is dead, two people are injured, because a 14-year-old boy snapped.

We have no direct ties to the tragic event, but we do have several indirect ties.
  • The pastor whose church the students were taken to, who has directed special services for those affected and who is preaching the funeral of the murdered father, has four children who all graduated from our private Christian school.
  • The shooting site is located very close to the location where we love to look at birds.
  • A neighbor is a teacher at the school, and was deeply affected by the tragedy. 
  • Several students in our school know the perpetrator and several know the victims.
For a very brief second, after hearing some of the horrible details, I had a fleeting thought that perhaps we really do need more control on guns.

And then I remembered:  The problem is not that gun use is out of control.  (That is an insult to the thousands upon thousands of men, women, and young people, who have responsibly used guns for hundreds of years.)

The problem is that the world contains more unstable people than ever before.

And that problem is compounded because society at large doesn't really address the root cause of the instability.  There are more unstable people because there are more sin issues in the world.  More children lonely and miserable, most because parents have failed them.  More anger issues, more homes broken beyond repair, more teens abandoned to electronics.  More people in general who have no hope, because society has minimized the knowledge of the only hope that works: faith in Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross to rescue us from all this sin.

Are we going to quit letting children go on the playground?  We can't make schools into fortresses.  No matter how well-protected with cameras and systems they are, every single school in the U.S. can plan, and plan, and plan, and yet not come up with a solution for every possible scenario.  And that's true for every public building as well.  There is no way to completely protect people from determined pain-inflicters (and there are plenty of other ways to commit mayhem besides guns) short of digging holes and caves, and never coming out --which of course is impossible.  We can't quit going to church, shopping in malls and stores, attending events, working, or just simply living.

I am reminded again that our only hope of any peace at all has its roots in the Lord.  "The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD."  (Proverbs 21:31)  Yes - Prepare, be aware, and be careful - but realize that no one is safe in this world.  We have to first of all know the Lord personally, then have faith that He is the source of our safety - and then realize that if something bad occurs, He in His perfect will has allowed it to happen. 

A little child barricaded in the bathroom this past Wednesday said to his classmates, "We don't have to worry.  Jesus is with us." This young child may not know all the theology behind his words.  But the faith of a little child is what we all need to keep from being terrified at what our world is becoming.

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