Photo taken July 14, 2017 over Rock Hill, South Carolina.
One of this week's headlines was the record high temperatures on Thursday and Friday. We reached a sunny 80 degrees in February, which according to the local meteorologists was a first. Another headline, from Wednesday, was the school shooting that occurred at a high school in Parkland, Florida claiming the lives of 17 people.
Unfortunately, it has happened again, more people have been terrorized at school. Really, it doesn’t matter the location, the fact is, more people have lost their lives at the hands of a deeply troubled individual. Again, our flags are at half-staff. Again we toss around thoughts of additional gun regulations. We discuss whether teachers should be armed. We browse through the gunman’s social media posts. We ask questions and point fingers of blame.
Regardless of your stance on guns, what is your stance on people? Alone, none of us can change laws, but we can change people. We can change people because we are never alone. God is with us, always. Paul says, “For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” (Romans 14:7) We are our brother’s keeper. We are responsible to our fellow man to show him respect, consideration, and love. “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) It is paradoxical to realize that this shooting occurred on Valentine's Day.
In reactive mode, we often look through a person’s social media for clues that they may have been troubled. Before a person reaches a point that they make disturbing posts, they are probably making troubling comments, before the comments we see the isolation. Is anyone paying attention? Is anyone listening? How do we respond? Do we respond with love or with strange looks? Do we respond with love or by whispering? When we respond with love, the Father is with us and the love we share can take root and change a troubled heart.
Another common reaction is to wonder why--to wonder where God was when this was happening. God was where He always is, doing what He always does. Simultaneously there is is Satan, "roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it." (Job 1:7) Evil "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) As humans we have these big brains that can both reason and wonder, but God, "His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation...He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:34-35) When we find ourselves wondering about the presence of God as we mourn, we need only to notice the sun. Never yet has a tragedy, of this type, occurred that resulted in darkness. It was God who said, "let there be light." (Genesis 1:3) And He sent His Son, Jesus, to be the light of the world. He cares for us. He loves us with a love like no other. He understands our pain, our grief. He understands even when we cannot put into words exactly what we feel. When we are unsure of His presence we need only to notice the sun spreading light from the east to the west. Even with all the trouble in the world, we still have light of His love to share. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)
May this blog be a blessing to your life,
Thank you for reading,
Copyright 2018 Kimberly Griffith Massey
If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.