It’s a sad day when I find myself sitting in the car with my kids and asking them what they are going to do if a gunman enters their school.
No. It is a downright terrifying day!
I talk about it, because I know it can happen in any of our school districts, in any of our churches. It makes me feel like I’m doing something, anything, to have a plan in place. God forbid we should ever find ourselves in the unthinkable moment of terror, maybe we’ll go on auto-pilot; perhaps our brains will remember when our hearts are too scared to beat.
When I was in school, I worried about forgetting my lunch. How did things change so very much? How did we all get so screwed up?
Is it the guns?
Is it the kids?
Is it our ever growing mental health crisis?
Is it drugs?
Is it bullying?
I have no idea what “it” is, but it is evil.
Eighteen shootings on school campuses this year? How can that number possibly be correct? How do we continue to put our kids on a big yellow bus in the morning and just pray they return in the afternoon? The unthinkable has already happened.
My heart breaks for the families, for the other kids, for my own children.
I hate the helplessness I feel.
If you ask your kids and their friends if there’s anyone in their school they’re worried about, whom they think could do something like become a school shooter. I bet they’ll all come to the same conclusion and name a name. They know who has problems too big for the school to fix. They know who is troubled beyond the point of safety, but what can you do?
There is no safety net. We don’t have rules and regulations in place to function within. There seems to be no help for those who need it the most.
I look at our own community and school system. I step up high on my soap box and wag my finger at those of financial means. They all send their children to private schools. I wonder how different our school system would be if those kids were part of the norm, if their parent’s money was filtered back into the local schools. Then I look inward. Wouldn’t I too choose the best for my kids? Wouldn’t I give them better if it were mine to give? I eat a big slice of humble pie and kick my soap box to curb.
I have no answers, only questions and sadness.
A few Saturdays ago I drove my son to school. He had play practice. As we were driving down a back road in nowhereland, Virginia, a man sat in a car in his driveway “air shooting” at our car as it went by. I say “air shooting”, because I’m not really sure what to call it. He didn’t have a weapon, only his hand. He formed his fingers into a gun, took aim, and pretended to shoot us. Should I call it practice?
What world are we living in?
I want to be the one who looks at the bright side and spreads hope, but today the light is dim. I want to be the one who believes one person can make a difference, who lives with eyes wide open to the needs of those around her. I want to be the one quick to help and to forgive and to offer a second chance. I want to be the one who believes in the impossible and sees a bright future.
As I sit here on the porch and wait for the big yellow bus, all I see is heartbreak.
Something has to change.
We have to change.
I pray for the families in Florida today. I can’t imagine their pain.
And I pray for us, for all of us.