As more details come out about the school shooting which happened in Pakistan, the horror of the story increases. I wonder, though, if it were to happen here what our reaction would be. It was just over two years ago that America mourned the school shooting in Connecticut. And we should have. Children were needlessly slaughtered, and it was a tough time even for those living hundreds of miles away. We hugged our kids a little harder that day, struggling to fight light in the midst of the darkness.
But is this really any different? The only difference is that there were more children killed this time, not less. Sure, they were a little further away, but children had to hear the cries of the killers screaming "God is great" as they maliciously went through the school, finding anyone they could and killing them. The reason given for the killing was war. It's a "you killed us, now we're going to kill you" story.
It's time for this evil to end, but it isn't going to end if we aren't willing to stand for what is right, even when the evil is happening far away.
So what can we do? There are no easy answers to this question, but there are things we can do, even from a distance, which can make a difference.
We can pray. We need to pray for the ones who have lost children and family members in this killing. We need to pray for the ones who killed. We need to pray for them, that God would have mercy on them, and turn their hearts toward Him. We need to pray for those who are in authority, that they would seek God for guidance on how to deal with these types of situations.
We can mourn. These children were created in God's image, just like my own children. They were dearly loved by God. We need to mourn their passing, and do as Jesus said; to mourn with those who mourn.
We can love our enemies. This all started with people responded to hate with more hate. I've been giving a lot of thought these days to the words of Jeremy Courtney, the founder of Preemptive Love Coalition: "We all know that violence unmakes the world. But preemptive love unmakes violence. Preemptive love remakes the world through healing." We can't live like the ones who are hating and expect change. We must love first, and ask questions later.
If we do these things, I believe it can not only help today, but our hope is that it will help future generations. They need to learn what it means to love like Jesus.
"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do you withhold your tunic either." - Jesus