Another boy walked into a school and killed yesterday. I got a text from my daughter’s school that they were on lockdown (she was home with me, and her school is not at all close to Freeman, the lockdown was precautionary), and right away looked to see where the shooting was. News stories filled the page, as well as commentators crying out against the violence. I saw so many fists shaking against laws, or guns, or people, but could only think of the parents shaking, standing outside school perimeters waiting to see if their child was alive.
It feels cruel and wrong to even be speaking about the reality that these people faced yesterday, this community’s loss. Because nothing can encompass or compare to their hurt. Yet I see news story and quote after quote addressing “The Problem.”
“The Problem” of these atrocities is spoken about confidently in many circles. Guns are The Problem. Video games and movies are The Problem. Laws are The Problem. Poor parenting is The Problem.
We all know, deep down, that those cannot be THE Problem, despite the debates and insistencies that they are. Problems, yes, but not The Problem. We know this because there is not just the act of killing, but there is the mother whose child did not walk out of that school. The killing is not The Problem, but the days and years of hurt and nightmares and chaos afterwards is. The Loss, not the taking, is THE Problem.
The loss those families and friends and people are facing is not right. It hurts so bad, and the loss is so deep because we were not made for it. We were not made to live in a world of darkness, we were made for shalom. Loss wouldn’t hurt if it was supposed to happen. But we are living with the reverberate affects of bringing sin into the world. God’s love for us gave us choice when he created us, the freedom to choose peace or destruction.
Yesterday, a boy chose to carry two guns into his school and shoot at his classmates. Another boy chose to walk up to the killer and try to stop him, and lost his life in the process. We can choose, too. We can choose whether we want to address the problems in this world and in our hearts, or The Problem. The Problem that we are living in a war zone of good and evil. We can put our stock in laws and regulations and outcry to fix symptoms of The Problem, or we can look to the God of the universe who lets us choose, and who gave us a way out of the darkness.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
My Prayers and my most heartfelt grief are with those affected by yesterday’s tragedy. Jesus Come Soon.