An image difficult for any parent, grandparent, teacher or law enforcement officer to see. Children, not yet knowing what their future holds for them – innocents who are supposed to feel safe in their schools – victims of the whim of a lone killer. Why? Why has this become the norm? Why have we become numbed by the frequency of it? Why are these youngsters in a position of being sitting ducks as they go off to learn and thrive?
There are the usual reasons:
- Lack of gun control laws.
- Too much dependence on teachers to manage children.
- Too many mind bending drugs and alcohol.
- Mental illness and lack of proper treatment.
- God is no longer allowed in schools.
- Teachers lacking ability to control or discipline students.
- Not enough parental involvement in setting standards for their kids.
- Video games, violence glorified.
- Lack of a loving home.
- Lack of respect for life.
- Anything goes society.
- History repeating itself.
I could go on and on with reasons, but there really is no common denominator here. We are living in a different world today than when Norman Rockwell painted lovely pictures of family life in America.
Experts are quick to come up with reasons for violent behavior in our youth, but if you think about it, even if you do everything “right” as a parent – even if your child is loved and grounded – even if there are no drugs involved, nor mental illness, or lack of communication with parents and teachers – they are all walking into a war zone each day when they enter their schools.
The thing that impacts me most is seeing photographs like the one above, where children are being led out of school with their hands raised or extended. I know the reason for it, yet it troubles me to think that we have come to this point in our civilization where no one can be trusted.
Debates will happen now and until the next similar disaster occurs. With each action, we will place blame and call out for reform, but until someone can actually pin down the reason for this kind of behavior, we will never be able to move on. We throw up our hands in despair and even give up.
I refuse to believe that we are going to do that. Americans have not grown so complacent, so uncaring, so oblivious to the snares of evil in our world. It’s like a disease which needs to be eliminated. There is no serum that will wipe out hatred, insecurity, depression, anxiety. There is no inoculation to protect against the infiltration of outside influences, peer pressure, bullying, self-hatred, suicide. We daily come up with remedies for our physical health, but fail to see the dangers mental illness or the effects of abuse.
Instead of placing blame, we really need to hug our kids. To let them know they have value and are loved. We need to talk to them about the dangers of the world and prepare them for what’s out there. We also need to arm them with the tools to reach out to others – to love – to be compassionate. To trust in God and His protection.
Psalm 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.”