I was both horrified and heartbroken to hear of yet another school shooting at a high school this past week. Along with the rest of the world.
Now, days later, I still can’t seem to put my thoughts to rest. My heart aches for the families of those that so tragically lost their lives on that fateful day. Suddenly. Instantly. Unexpectedly.
Lives shattered in an instant. Without warning. Here one day- gone the next. Forever.
My thoughts immediately turned toward my own children who, for the first time, are all attending a public school themselves this year. And I question, “did we make the right decision to not homeschool?”
I admit- my immediate response is fear. I have a sudden urge to want to pull my kids out of school, and keep them sheltered under the protection of our home, where I can keep close watch over them.
Where they are shielded from the violence that much-too-often penetrates our schools.
Where I can ensure that they will be kept safe from harm.
I can’t help but think of the parents of those children who couldn’t have possibly known that THAT day would be their last.
My heart wonders, did they make sure to kiss them goodbye before they left?
Did they remember to say I love you?
Or were their final words on that average, everyday morning, a sharp exchange between parties as both rushed to get out the door?
I shudder at the thought, as I pull my 6 yr old a little closer to me on the sofa.
These questions haunt me. They keep me up at night.
And there are other questions too…
Where were you, God? Why let this happen? Why now? Why to them? Why to anyone?
So many questions.
But there is one that perhaps plagues me most- what now?
I too have known the searing pain of loss. I have tasted the bitter herbs of death.
I am familiar with the ache of never again getting to look upon the face of the child you love.
Or touch their soft tufts of hair. Or breathe in their sweet scent.
To never again feel the warmth of their skin against yours. Or hear their laughter pierce the quiet.
There is no groaning on earth like that of a parent whose own flesh and blood has met its end.
It’s inconceivable. Inconsolable.
Yes, I am familiar with loss. But what I am not familiar with- and can’t even fathom– is loss at the hands of hatred.
The tears steadily flow. And I am angry. I want answers. I want justice.
But more than anything, I want action.
I want love to rise.
I want love to reign.
I want love to evoke emotion. Not the kind that sits idly by, but the kind that stands up, steps in, reaches out, grabs hold, lifts up.
The kind that takes risks. The kind that rescues. The kind that demands attention, and won’t be quieted.
I long to see a people united by love. In love. For the sake of love.
Love is a verb. An action.
“For God SO loved the world, that He gave…” (John 3:16)
Love gives. It sacrifices.
It compels, motivates, and inspires.
It searches the world for the lost, the lonely, the hurting.
Love sees a need and it says, “let me fill it.“
If caged in- love will die.
It must be freed.
It must be given.
Knowing this then, let me ask you…
What can YOUR love give today?
Can it give a helping hand? A listening ear? A compassionate heart?
Can it forgive the offense? Extend grace? Show mercy?
How will love compel you?
Will it compel you to give of your time? Your money? Your support?
Perhaps of your vote? Your voice? Your influence?
The world lies in wait for a people who will rise up to the task.
The voices of the martyred cry out.
The chilling screams of our children beg to be heard.
The tears of the grief-struck mother asks, “if not now-WHEN?”
As hatred rises, love must rise above!
Friends, who can you reach out to today?
Who do you know that could use a little love?
Ask Jesus. His answer might surprise you. You might be tempted to question His guidance.
We live in a disconnected world. A world that is flashy and fake, and loves to give us the edited version. You never know how the person next to you- the person closest to you– might be struggling.
Listen to the voice of love.
There is no better time than today.
The time is now. Not tomorrow.
Not when we are older, and more mature.
Not when we are more confident, and secure.
Not when we finally have it all together.
My hands ravage the pages of my turquoise leather bible. The one my son gifted me on Christmas day.
Page after page filled with promise. Words of life. Words of hope.
My eyes catch a glimpse of the radiant colors. Blues and greens, pinks and purples, orange and reds.
There, sketched on a page I had colored in not long ago, were the words,
“Love never fails.”(1 Corinthians 13:8)
It bears all things.
Believes all things.
Hopes all things.
Endures all things.
If we believe it, we must live like it.
Let love out.
Make it viral.
Lead by example.
Teach the world how to receive love, free love, speak love, show love, give love, master love.
Together– we rise.
Together– we conquer hate.
Together– we change the world.
In the end, #LOVEWINS
With all my love,
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