Like the rest of the nation, I sat for days crying as I watched the news coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre. I alternated between watching and shunning the coverage because it was too intense. I have children. I have a grandchild the same age as those slaughtered. It was too much to bear.
I couldn’t decide between arming the teachers, having armed guards secure the perimeters of school properties, taking up all the guns or doing something else, something new, something no one was talking about.
My mother pointed out that even if we did arm the teachers or have armed guards, what about the movie theaters, stadiums, concerts or other public places where crazies could do the maximum damage? When I mentioned to my dad that we could at least take up the assault rifles (because no one really needs an assault rifle, do they?), he said that a shotgun has more “bullets” in a single shot than most of the assault rifles and could go straight through a piece of oak lumber. And after all, when Hitler took all the arms of the German people, only the bad guys were left with weapons.
So, I grieved. We all grieved. What is this world coming to? Come now, Lord Jesus! And then I thought about Jonah in the Old Testament. He was sent (after a shocking detour in a great fish for his disobedience) to Nineveh to preach repentance. Wonder of wonders! The people of Nineveh did repent and fast and pray and God forgave them.
Now, don’t be mad. I didn’t say that God caused or agreed to the massacre that happened nor to any bad thing. I’m only saying: God is the answer! God is love and love is the answer to pain and grief and violence.
I’m calling on the churches and the parents and grandparents and the teachers and administrators to pray for the children and the teachers and the administrators. Something we can do in Cleveland that we probably couldn’t do many places is march around the perimeter of the schools as parents and grandparents and citizens invoking the protection of God for all those who enter.
You probably pass one or more schools every day on your way to work or to run errands. As you do, pray for protection for those who are in there. Invoke the blessing of God on your family every day. It’s a rare day that I don’t say to my husband, children and grandchildren, “God bless and protect you and keep you well and drive safely.” This is not a magic incantation meant to ward off evil spirits. It is just a mother’s prayer for the protection of those she loves. They say it back to me and I feel blessed. I have just “let go and let God.”
I always wanted my Sunday School students to know three things before they left my class: God loves you so much He gave His only Son to die for you; God’s Word is God’s power (It is by His Word that the world was created and by the Word that Jesus resisted the temptations of Satan); and that Satan is like a hungry wolf waiting to devour those who are not strong in the fellowship of other believers.
The only thing that combats evil, I mean satanic, demonic evil, is the Word of God. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:11-12, “11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes,” and “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
So, let us, brothers and sisters, join together, taking the action recommended in the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6: “... 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand; 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place; 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace; 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one; 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
God bless and protect you and keep you well and drive safely!
— Debra D. Conner