Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I Can't Ensure Their Safety

Watching Facebook and media after a tragedy is sort of my addiction.  You can tell so much about people by what they post and like and respond to.

So while I didn't turn on the TV once following the tragedy in Sandy Hook, I did follow with a keen eye peoples' reactions.

PRAYER

I was amazed by the instant prayers people sent up.  Though these crises are shocking, I was so proud to see how it stirs compassion even if the best way we could demonstrate it was from knees on the floor.

BLAME

It's lack of gun control.

It's bad parenting.

It's mental illness.

It's proof God has abandoned this country.

I don't know what it is but I know this, the days following a tragedy are NOT the time and place to blame and force your agenda. Shame of those who use a time of mourning to better politicize their thoughts.  Their is a time for everything--shouting for gun control (or not) or prayer in school (or not) when families are DEVASTATED is not the time.  I

PERSPECTIVE

Oh the posts I saw from mommas and daddys who couldn't wait to get their kids off the bus and hug them.  These were so uplifting to my heart!  And when I got my M girl from school, I hugged her so tight and smelled her hair and cried a little bit because my arms were full but my heart was breaking for those families whose arms were empty.

SAFETY

The bulk of the posts I saw were one safety.  Are schools safe enough?  Should they be fortresses?  Should armed guards surround the doors?  Should kids refrain from recess in case some person with sniper abilities picks them off the playground from a block away?  What is the protocol?

More than anything, people are concerned about they safety of their children.

Listen, I understand safety concerns.  However, we must realize we cannot ensure our children's safety.  If they go to school in a barricaded fortress surrounded by military guys with uzis, that does not mean they won't get hit a car, kidnapped from a shopping center, choke on a grape, get a terminal illness, get in a car accident ...

Like many parents my kids wear seat belts and weather appropriate clothing and helmets when they ride their bikes.  I want my kids to be safe.  I want to protect them. But at some point in time, I also have to acknowledge I can't keep them safe.  No measure I take can ensure they will never hurt or die.

It is in moments like these that I have to remind myself these are God's children--not mine.  I have to trust His provision over my own.

I can't ensure their safety but I can help them know Jesus.  I can help them learn to trust--even if they don't have all the answers.  I can help them make good decisions but in the end, I can't ensure their safety.

So I am not in favor of getting rid of recess or putting armed guards at school.  I'm interested in practical, pro-active measures but I will not let myself believe that if there are enough metal detectors my kids will be safe.  My children are not safe but I trust the One who loves them more than I do and that's enough for me.