Last week, a young man walked into his former High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, in Parkland, Florida, and began shooting. When the bloodshed was over, he had taken the lives of seventeen people.
In the past week, numerous pictures have been shown of the shooting. One of those (seen at top) shows a lady hugging her child… weeping… and she has a black cross on her forehead. The day the shooting took place was Ash Wednesday and many Christians went to Ash Wednesday services to prepare for the season of Lent. This lady had obviously been to a Lent service and the cross on her forehead was from the service.
As I looked at this picture.. one I had seen several times… I was drawn to the cross… there in the midst of the suffering and hurting… there is the cross… In the midst of the hurting, there is Jesus. And, when all i said and done… when all the talking is done… Jesus is the answer. Why is Jesus the answer?
Every mass killer grew up in a home. Any many times, the homes they grew up in were not the best. Who knows what they experienced in the home? Many homes today are broken… crumbling. But the home is supposed to be the foundation of society. When the home crumbles, it leads to other problems like mass-shootings. Pope John Paul once said, “As the home goes, so goes society.” He was right. Take a look at society… it’s troubled.. it’s hurting… it’s angry and it can at least in some part, be traced back to the home. What is the answer to the breakdown of the home? It’s Jesus. The Psalmist said, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalms 127:1).
Part of the problem is violence. The home is supposed to be a place where children are taught Bible stories and listen to nursery rhymes. It is supposed to be a place where they have the opportunity to talk with a Mom or Dad who loves them and helps them work through the problems they experience. Instead, the home has become a place where kids experience violence. They are watching violence on TV… they are playing computer games where people are killed… they listen to music that talks about hating people… why does it surprise us that some children would move the killing they watch on TV and play on a computer….and make it real… in a school? Folks, we have become numb to this stuff. We see it all the time and doesn’t bother us.
Part of the problem is parents who want to be their kids friend instead of a parent. Moms and Dads.. I know you love your child… and I know you think you are demonstrating that love by being their “friend”… but you are not. You are their Parent, not their friend. Being their parent means saying “No.” Being their Parents means guarding what they watch on TV and do on the computer. Parents, the Bible says there was a time when some ladies were bring their children to Jesus but the disciples rebuked them. Jesus corrected the disciples and told them “to bring the children unto me.” Parents, are you bringing your children to Jesus? The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it” (Prov. 22;6). Parents, how are our children being raised? What are they learning in the home?
I said that Jesus is the answer. I believe that. Now someone may say “Yep, we need prayer in school.” I hear you and I’m not opposed to that, but we can have Jesus in our hearts and in our homes even if we don’t have prayer in school.
One last thing… Moms and Dads… when something like this happens everyone looks for someone to blame. It’s easy to blame the schools. But please don’t do that. Most teachers and administrators I know love kids and want the best for them. They take the kids they have been given and try to teach them. Kids learns their values in the home not in the school
In the last week, I’ve seen lots of finger-pointing… I’ve heard lots of people accusing others. Doing this isn’t solving anything. While adults point fingers, children’s lives are being taken.
Now, an atheist or agnostic may read this and said, “Well, I’m not into religion. Leave religion out of it.” Friend, I hear you but what do you have to lose? Things are bad now. The home is crumbling. Lives are being taken… Is is possible that turning to Jesus could make things better? Sure it is. I invite you.. I encourage you… let’s turn to Christ and pray for a genuine spiritual renewal in our homes, lives, and churches in America.