Because Life Doesn’t Stop for the Rest of Us…

I’m a Children’s Pastor as a local church. One of my heart and passion is to support parents so they can raise spiritually and emotionally healthy children to know and love God. When Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting happened in 2012, I was quick to send out an email to parents in my church on how to talk to their children about tragedy. Fast forward to 2017. When Vegas shooting happened, I hesitated before sharing pointers on talking to kids about tragedy on social media. This week. I’m still wondering if I should share an article on talking to kids about tragedy. Why? Because I think to myself, “But I just shared an article on how to talk to kids about tragedy just few months ago. They can easily find it again if they need to.”

This is an indication that shooting are becoming a norm in our country, which is NOT OKAY! But today, I came across this post on my facebook friend’s feed who lives minutes away from Parkland, FL (all names have been changed to “{insert relationship}” for privacy; This was posted the morning after Stoneman Douglas School shooting):

Ugh…so hard to drop “son” at school this morning 

This was followed by the following post and photos:

Lord help us! “Son’s” school went on lockdown at the same time as his dismissal. “Husband” and “Daughter” were picking him up and were pulled into lockdown too. So scary but thankful they are all ok and home now.

Parkland Final

As I read the text exchange, my eyes started welling up with tears. I just had to stop and re-read these words again and again.

I have stopped posting anything political or controversial on my social media sites awhile back because my words felt cheap. I felt somewhat helpless in my actions… and I felt like posting about it led me to think I did something when I hadn’t. But as I sat in front of my computer screen filled with emotions, I realized that my life goes on. I’m still going to my next scheduled meeting. I’m still going to a museum with a friend tomorrow. I’m still meeting friends for dinner this weekend. My life goes on… nothing stops for me. But for someone who is living this tragic moment, life stops. Everything on their schedule is cancelled. Their focus turns to grieving and trying to put life back together. Cause of tragedy also becomes their life mission. When life doesn’t stop, it doesn’t become priority. We feel sad. We send our “thoughts and prayers” (I’m just as guilty of this one). We share or write a post or two. Then we go back to joking around… the norm… and we forget how strongly we felt about gun-control (in this case) when tragedy had just struck.

Right now, I still feel helpless. But reading this post on a personal friend’s wall hit home. I’m not a parent, yet as I thought about what my friend must have been feeling, I was overwhelmed with feelings of desperation, sadness, frustration, and anger. This is not a text that should exchanged with your child while they’re in school.

I don’t know anyone that says this violence okay. Everyone, regardless of political party affiliation, will say this is senseless tragedy. But nothing is being done, and I felt the need to do something. Today, I emailed my Representative and Senators. I made a donation (gofundme: Stoneman Douglas Victim’s Fund) to help cover the cost of coffee and drinks at grief centers, counseling funding, medical expenses, etc. I don’t share this to pat myself on the back… because to be honest, I still feel helpless… but I really need to do something! And even if life doesn’t stop for me now, I have made a decision to do what I can to push for sensible gun-control in our country. If we don’t take action now, I fear that one of my close friend’s life will stop due to this senseless violence… or even mine… so I choose to act now. If you’re moved to action, below are few places to start:

Living Boldly requires speaking up for what is right… and protecting our children.


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