Yesterday there was another school shooting. 17 lives lost.
It’s heartbreaking. Sickening.
And immediately our nation started in on the same routine. Pointing fingers. Throwing out statistics. We need more gun control. We need more guns. We need more accountability. We need more freedom. We need to discuss mental illness. We… need to discuss mental illness, but that’s not the issue right now.
And I want to pull my hair out because what is going to change? What is going to stop this?
And then I read a post that made me so angry that I wanted to cry.
But this time tears of rage.
A prominent evangelical and political activist shared a post that seemed to imply that this tragedy happened because God was kicked out of schools.
It’s a sentiment that I have seen expressed several times through the years and I’ve just shaken my head at it. But this time it came from someone who has an enormous reach, in the USA and around the world, and I have to speak up.
That is false. Completely false.
You CANNOT kick God out of anywhere.
He is God. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. – Psalm 139 7-10
And to say that this happened because “God was kicked out of schools” is to imply that God is sitting by, coldly turning His back because He is “not welcome” there.
And that’s just garbage.
Because this breaks God’s heart.
This angers God.
You know – Jesus turning over the tables in the temples because the poor and innocent were being taken advantage of by “religious people” kind of angry.
This didn’t happen because God was kicked out of schools.
I don’t know why this happened. And I’m not going to pretend that I do. And when I go to work with heartbroken, scared, and angry youth, I’m not going to tell them I know why it happened.
I can try and see some light somewhere in this. I can see light in the actions of heroic adults who gave their lives saving children so the death toll was not higher, but that doesn’t make the 17 deaths any less tragic. I can see light in the first responders who helped usher kids to safety, but that doesn’t lessen their trauma.
But one thing I do know is that this didn’t happen because God was kicked out of schools.
God was not kicked out of schools.
God is still there. God is still everywhere. God is still God.
Prayer did not end in school. Compulsory prayer ended. We stopped forcing kids to say things they don’t necessarily believe. But prayer did not end.
Every day at schools around this country, teachers are praying. Students are praying. Principals, Guidance Counselors, and Athletic Directors are praying. Coaches, secretaries, custodians, and nurses are there, day-in and day-out, reaching this generation of youth. Praying for them. Showing them Christ’s love in their actions, and putting their lives on the line to reach these kids.
So just stop spreading the lie that God has been kicked out of schools. Stop sitting back where you’re safe, passing judgment on what is going on with the youth of today.
Get out there and do something.
Get to know these kids.
Put in time. Effort.
Are they rude? Yep. They often are. Is it difficult? Absolutely. Are kids disrespectful and tough to reach? They can be.
Will you see and hear things that are unbelievably offensive?
I guarantee it.
But who cares? It’s not about you.
It’s about these kids.
Don’t give up on them. Don’t leave them to try to navigate this world on their own. Don’t leave them to try and figure out what is right and what is wrong in a world that is saturated with violence and moral decay.
Don’t you dare do that to them.
Get in there and help them.
Support teachers. Support coaches. Get involved in the schools. Volunteer your time.
It’s tough and it’s ugly and they need you now, more than ever.
Is it going to stop school shootings? Unfortunately, most likely no. Those are discussions and solutions that will take time and understanding and compromise, and I don’t even know where to begin.
But I do know how I – and you – can start making a difference right now. Right where we are.
The youth of today need Jesus. Just like we all do.
And the youth of today need to see adults who love Jesus loving them.
Otherwise, how will they know where to turn?
So get out there and do something.
See you soon.