Time after time I’ve watched the news, feeling sad. Bullying has taken another life.
But when the shooting tragedy happens down the road, the school that the one our church kids go to … the sadness is closer to home.
Pushing my cart through the aisles, I watch others.
It feels is as if nothing happened at 7:15 a.m. Nobody looks as if another young life has been snuffed out; our community robbed of a life that was meant to impact others. His was a life God created for great things, but that will never happen. Maybe they don’t know. Maybe they don’t watch the news.
The cashier asks, “How’s your day?”
I respond respond honestly. “Sad.”
“Because it’s Monday?” she asks.
If only that was the reason…
“No, because a student has been shot and killed at Butler High School.” I say as I try to hold back the tears.
The reason for this tragedy? “…the shooting began as a bullying incident that had gone out of control.”
Bully; a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person
who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
Friends, ending these tragedies begins with us at home; teaching our children to have compassion, empathy, love, and sympathy for smaller, weaker people, those who have no voice.
So we teach and we model this compassion. Proverbs 31:8 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” NLT
Three things we, and our children, should never say:
- It’s not my problem.
According to Proverbs 31:8, we’re to make it our problem if someone needs us speak up for them.
2. I didn’t want to say anything.
In interviews with the students at the school, many said they knew something was going to happen today … but they didn’t tell anyone. Maybe if someone had, a young man would have died. We must be brave and speak up!
3. I was afraid to speak up.
Fear can be a good thing … when we fear God. With God’s strength, we can brave, choosing to obey God more than we fear people.
We need to have these conversations with our kids if we are going to see real change happen. Often our kids are afraid of being misunderstood.
“Sometimes we’ll have feelings and fears others won’t understand. Often they can’t because they are not you. Feeling misunderstood can make us feel less confident. Is there something wrong with me?
When we don’t feel understood, we can feel alone. God tells us then, even when others don’t get us, He will. He made us, so we aren’t weird or quirky to Him. We’re just like He made us to be.” – Brave Beauty, chapter 86, No One Gets Me
Let’s empower our children to not only be brave enough to be themselves, but brave enough to stand up for others as well.