With the recent suicide in London and the brutal interviews on traumatized children and school staff, can we please take a moment to ask ourselves what drives our media? It is our hunger to be entertained that fuels their pursuit of a faster story, a bigger scandal, or funnier jab without regard to the emotions of others. Have we forgotten the command to love our neighbor as ourselves? We have to stop believing that what we say and do has no impact on our neighbors. How could our “need to know” possibly outweigh a child’s need to be comforted in a moment of trauma?
Tonight I pray that a big chunk of this world steps back and says “We have gone too far.” If we ever hope to raise healthy children we must shut off the sound byte laden T.V. reports, stop clicking on the “breaking news” links, throw away the violent games and movies, and turn off the mean spirited radio shows. Their messages of anger and hate saturate our hearts and we pass it on without even realizing it. We see hate and betrayal as a part of a normal life. The horrific becomes acceptable. The extreme becomes the norm. We live in fear of the next tragedy while pointing blame for the last one. It becomes a horrible cycle of anxious highs and sorrowful lows dictated by the actions of others. Meanwhile, we neglect our responsibility to create an emotionally and spiritually safe environment for our children.
The Sandy Hook staff and emergency responders did so much more than fulfill the responsibility of their jobs. They responded with every resource they had because the knew their children were under attack. As Lincoln challenged our nation after the Battle of Gettysburg, we must be inspired to greatness by their actions. We must “take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion.” Our children are under attack from an enemy that does not play fair. It takes their childhood from them with acts of violence and horrific losses. It subjects them to bullying and neglect that minimizes their sense of self worth. But even more tragically, it attacks their understanding that God loves them, no matter what.
We cannot allow our children to be lost. Instead of being paralyzed by our anxiety, let us be like that brave principal and rush towards the evil that is threatening our children. With all our strength, let us reflect the love of God in every thought, every conversation, every idea we let into our homes. Let us be like the teachers that became a physical barrier between hate and the children in their care.
Just like some of the staff we may lose our lives in this battle, but our walk with God extends far beyond this battle. He has charged us with ensuring the next generation knows His love no matter how frightened we are. He often calls upon us to stretch and grow outside of our comfort zone to protect and provide for our children. He may even ask us to lay down our lives, but we must remember it is with Him that we act. That is our greatest responsibility. We must teach our children that God is with us in our moments of fear and even when the world sees us as lost. For as long as our children know they are under God’s care, they will never be lost to Him.
Copyright 2014 AngelaJHerrington