Saturday, December 15, 2012

Connecticut Shooting - A Different Perspective

Yesterday morning the unthinkable happened- a man entered an elementary school and opened fire, killing 6 adults and 20 children between the ages of 5 and 10. The reality of what happened is so horrifying that it's difficult to grasp. A shooting in any sort of setting is tragic, but the fact that this crime was committed against children makes it even more appalling. Children are vulnerable, and to protect and defend them is almost instinctive. My heart breaks for those families.

As heartbreaking as that is, the sad reality is that somewhere over 3000 children are killed daily, almost unnoticed, in America alone. Yesterday, while the gunman was opening fire, I was standing outside of an abortion clinic, praying quietly. I watched women go by, as I do every week, some laughing with a friend, some cold and indifferent, some appearing nervous. Everywhere around life goes on as usual. People arrive for work at various offices surrounding the clinic. Some acknowledge my smile and wave back, some don't. Children wait for the school bus. Across the street people stop for coffee at Starbucks or McDonalds. But inside that clean, friendly looking building with the lovely tree in front, children are being killed- killed in a "safe, legal procedure."

God's heart is breaking. Why don't we see? Are we so used to hearing about it that we've grown desensitized? Are we too self-centered to care? Are there more pressing matters at hand? These precious lives being knit together by the One who died to give us life are being literally torn to pieces in the place where they should be safest. How can we, as His people, turn the other way? What ought our response to be? That is a question for each of us to prayerfully ask God. Cry out to Him and let Him break your heart. It will look different for each of us, but may we as the church be blind no longer.

Dear Lord, give us eyes to see, a heart to care, and courage and your strength to respond.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Through Calm or Storm

In the Bible there are two accounts which offer an interesting contrast- Jesus calming a storm and Jesus walking on the water. (See Mark 4:35-41 and Matthew 14:22-33) In the first, He brought peace where there was chaos. In the second, He called His disciple out into it. In both, He was right there with His disciples, and in both, their faith is shown to be weak. I face many storms in life, and I cry out to Jesus. I long for Him to speak "peace, be still," over the raging seas. But if He doesn't, if He calls me to step out and walk on water through wind and waves which threaten to overwhelm, isn't He still with me? Isn't He still in control? Isn't He still working to accomplish His purposes? No matter what storms I come to and no matter what His response, may I ever trust the One who has authority over the wind and rain, for He has promised never to leave me or forsake me.