In our post-Christian culture, church attendance is dropping, the rise of those who claim no religious affiliation is rising, and belief in God, reading the Bible, and prayer have been declining for decades. (Gray, Derwin “The Good Life” pg. 190)
Day 91 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The conflict has surpassed three months, and if you follow this blog you know I have mentioned something about it every time I have sat down to write. But today, today I am trying to find the words to express my shock, horror, and anger I feel about another, another, ANOTHER, ANOTHER mass shooting in our country.
As I write this, my five-year-old son is running around the house pretending our 15-year-old dog is chasing him. It is absolutely heartbreaking to think that a school full of life, full of beautiful, innocent, wholly pure children were running into closets yesterday, their teachers desperately trying to keep them from screaming, to keep them hidden away from horrors unfolding in a school that should be filled with the sounds of learning and growing. Little boys who pretend to be superheroes were being riddled with bullets. Their screams will haunt survivors for the rest of their lifetime. Precious, sweet girls who just want to be princesses had their life, their future, their very existence stolen from them. It wrecks me to think of these poor children gasping for their last breath, desperately crying out for their mommies and daddies, with no one coming to their rescue while they suffered, struggled, drowned in their own blood or their own tears.
It has almost been a decade since the horror of Sandy Hook occurred. My daughter was just an infant then, but it broke my heart to think that I could lose the most beloved person I know at a place meant for learning, for safety, for launching futures and a love for education. The shooter in that massacre was a mentally challenged, medicated psychotic whose mother raised him to love guns and own assault rifles. That upbringing cost this country part of its soul, and much, much more from the community in that small Connecticut town. In the ten years since Sandy Hook, America, the world’s leading country in school shootings (by a disgusting amount), has passed zero gun reform bills in our pathetic government. Click here to see the staggering numbers for yourself. Here comes the obsessive, divisive arguing that will happen within our country:
“What we need is stricter gun control!”
“What we need is for every teacher to be armed with a gun!”
“We need better mental health care!”
“The only way to stop a monster with a gun is with another gun!”
And so on and so on until nothing is accomplished. What needs to happen for the safety of our children in this country is all of the above. At this point, we will never get the guns out of the streets, out of the culture of this 2nd Amendment totting population. Sadly, even if America did pass substantial gun purchasing laws, those who truly want to commit such atrocities would find a way to get their hands on these weapons. I suppose at this point every teacher should be armed and trained in the use of such firearms, but that is a completely unfair and ridiculous goal for the loving and brave individuals who already do above and beyond for the children of this country. Our mental health care system is a joke. I saw that first hand yesterday as 18 people were committed into an overflowing hospital in Georgia for mental health evaluations. This is one hospital in one city in this country. This epidemic of mental illness is happening at a staggering rate across America. And as reports are coming in that all the children killed in Uvalde, TX, were in one single classroom, the heroic actions of the Border Patrol Agent who rushed to the school and eliminated the threat kept this death toll far lower than the monstrous massacre it could have been.
My kids are up and I need to invest my time in growing them to be courageous warriors for Christ, for each other, and for humanity. I have nothing else to share. No music, no sermons, no other words. Just silence to think about the families of 19 beautiful children who joined Jesus yesterday. And if you want to know where I think the root of all this evil stems from: just scroll back up to those first words I shared from Derwin Gray.