Confession 262: Peace on Earth

“God is not dead, nor does he sleep.  The wrong shall fail, the right prevail with peace on earth, good will to men”
“I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day”

I dropped my six year old son off at school this morning amidst a plethora of police and sheriff’s cars.  There was a highway patrol car parked on each corner of the school lot.  An unsubstantiated threat had been made against the school, and the administration wanted to reassure parents with extra law enforcement presence.  As I said I love you and watched my son walk inside, the above song played in my van.  My eyes filled with tears at the great irony of it all.

Like many parents in our small Midwestern community, Chris and I talked long into the night about sending our son to school today.  Many parents did not, and I completely understand and support that decision.  But as I prayed in bed last night, I felt God asking me, “Do you trust me?”  And my heart had to respond, in the midst of all the heartache in the world, “Yes.”
Like many of us across our nation, I have been struggling with the seismic rift in our cultural fabric last Friday’s killings wrought.  I was a first year teacher when the Columbine killings took place.  They changed everything.  What happened in Connecticut last Friday will change everything again.  There are so many issues our society must face.  It’s not just about guns, although it is about guns.  It’s not just about mental illness, although it is about mental illness.  It’s not just about school and public safety, although it is about school and public safety.  It’s not just about our changing cultural values, although it is about our changing cultural values.
And then there are the theological questions.  Why did God allow the shooter to get that far?  Why didn’t God protect the innocent?  How can I trust God to protect my children when He didn’t protect the children of the parents in Sandy Hook?  Scholars much more studied than I have attempted to answer such questions over this past week.  I have found little comfort in any of their responses.  And so, ironically enough, I have gone directly to the One I am questioning with my questions and fears.  I believe God is big enough for whatever doubt/disappointment/anger/frustration/confusion we might have.  And here is what I have heard.  It’s not deep, it’s not studied, it might not even be helpful, but it has brought stillness to my soul.
In spite of all the pain, heartache, and tragedy in this world, I trust God.  I don’t understand it all, and I know that my trust and belief will not make me immune to any of it.  Sickness, accidents, acts of evil can break into my life the same as in any other person’s life.  But I trust God.  And I know that He is working in ways I cannot see or comprehend to bring about peace in this world.  And I know that it is my duty, as His child, to work with Him to bring love and healing to a world so broken and in need.  I trust in God, the One who came down to earth in the form of His creation.  I trust in God, the One who sent His Son to die for me, and in so doing sacrificed a part of Himself.  I trust in God, the One who set the stars in the sky and has counted each hair on my head.  I trust in God, the One who loves me beyond any love I can give.  I trust in God.
“God is not dead, nor does He sleep…”  He has sent us the Prince of Peace.  My we seek to offer that gift to those across our world who have lost so much.
Blessings and Peace,

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