I open my browser and read the headlines, Filled with Hate – Gunman Targets Christians.
A wave of nausea rolls over me. My college aged son bounds down the stairs for school and I ask him, “Have you seen the news?”
“About the shooting in Oregon?”
“Yeah, I’m sick over this.”
To be brutally honest it’s fury and fear that are battling it out in my gut.
“Mom, what I don’t understand are the people who didn’t rush him, or at least try.”
“Son, it’s not normal to have a bullet shoot your professor in the head and then try to think rationally. Your mind tries to understand the insanity right before your eyes. Most people freeze. They’re stunned. You go into shock.”
“If I was there I would’ve at least tried to take him down.” I smile at the little boy who is now a man. I’m sure he secretly wishes for the chance to prove his words. But, he underestimates the prayers of his mother to the contrary.
My college aged kids have to think about these scenarios and what they’d do. I didn’t grow up in their world where evil seeks its prey in gun-safe zones. Pure cowardice in all its morbid glory.
I remind my son, “It’s the classic ‘fight or flight’ scenario. Some people flee. Some fight. There was one former army soldier who rushed him yelling, “It’s my son’s birthday!” and was shot seven times.”
“I would do that.” David quietly boasts.
“Son, he was trained to do that. Running towards evil doesn’t come naturally. That’s why these types of stories encourage us so much, because they’re pretty rare. It makes you think, could you say you are a Christian? Would you say you’re a follower of Jesus? It’s a question I’m asking myself, too.”
“Do you remember years ago when we watched that truck tumble in cartwheels off of the freeway and down that 30ft embankment?”
“Yeah, I remember that. Dad was the only one who ran down to help.”
“Do you remember how many people stopped their cars to look? They were trying to process what they just witnessed. Some were in shock. You’re right, only your father jumped into action and ran towards the accident. He scaled that barbwire fence and disappeared below to help. Why do you think he did that?”
David intently listens and I go on, “Because your father was a police officer. He was trained to run towards chaos, towards hurting people and if he has to– towards evil.”
What are you training your kids to do?
Once again, our President will call for tougher gun laws. People will debate the issue and argue the point that disarming a nation must happen. Let me help you with that debate. Owning a gun is a 2nd amendment right. Don’t get sucked into the arguments.
Instead, choose this day who you will serve. I’ll tell you my answer–As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
Focus your energy on teaching your children about Jesus. Turn off the news. You know enough about this tragedy. There were martyrs for their faith in Oregon this week. They looked into the eyes of evil and didn’t waiver. Honor the fallen by using the time wisely that they no longer have. Raise children of faith who become adults who run towards evil not cower in the shadow of death.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. Psalm 23:4
Satan hates Jesus. Darkness hates the light. But, remember precious moms, you aren’t raising children; you’re raising adults–spiritual warriors for Kingdom work. Teach them to be as gentle as doves, as wise as serpents, but most especially please teach them not to fear.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Courageous adults aren’t born. They’re taught to be fearless. Don’t let anxiety or fear of a scary world cast a shadow on your parenting work at hand.
As the days grow darker, we must turn off the TV, put away the iPhones and magazines with pathetic stories about the frivolous and ridiculous. Focus on the serious job at hand–raising fearless followers.
God has appointed YOU to take your child by the hand and launch them into their future. Do not fear evil because the Light of the World is their champion.
Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6