Wrapping them in T-P

There are a lot of questions everyone keeps asking. All good questions. Excellent ones, even. Here’s the one I will throw on the pile: what would Jesus say?

You know, I try to avoid directly addressing certain topics. I actively and intentionally do not go after individual politicians – even if Jesus and his cousin did. And I am always wary of certain subjects because I worry they might cross an arbitrary line somewhere. Maybe. Sure – I’m going to pretend that’s the excuse I was going with.

Both personally, as a mother, and vocationally, as a minister of Jesus Christ – I can no longer remain silent on this particular issue. The tipping point probably should have been hundreds of people ago. Yet somehow the second-deadliest school shooting on record, also being the third shooting in less than a week, finally did it. Oh, and it was at an elementary school. And the shooter was just eighteen, which means though the media keeps referring to him as an adult, which I get he legally was, he was also just a baby himself.

I have watched my newsfeed these last twenty-four hours in horror, like all of you. And I can feel myself in shock. Not surprise. But in the kind of shock that I feel when one of my close relatives dies. That numbness and calm that takes over so that you can function, while inside your body, mind, and soul are screaming and thrashing in utter agony at what is happening.

There are a lot of questions everyone keeps asking. All good questions. Excellent ones, even. Here’s the one I will throw on the pile: what would Jesus say?

That’s what my brain has been turning over and over these long hours. I mean after he caught the families and the wounded and those caring for others in the aftermath. I mean, once the smoke had cleared. What would Jesus say to offer any sort of balm in this circumstance?

They’re in a better place doesn’t even begin to cut it.

I will wipe away all your tears… eventually? Yeah, might be a helpful statement to make in like a decade.

Vengeance, not really a healthy thing. And it belongs to God, which is Jesus, too sure. But that wasn’t his M.O.

Does anyone remember what actually happened the night before he died? Well, little refresher course here: the armed guards come to arrest Jesus in the garden and one of his followers picked up a sword to defend him. In the midst of a fight, they cut off a guard’s ear. Rather than joining his followers, Jesus stops the fight, heals the guard, and says this: those who live by the sword will die by the sword. And then gives himself over to be killed in one of the worst ways imaginable without a fight.

On top of Jesus’s direct direction, throughout the scriptures, especially in the prophets, we hear God’s reaction to what happens when we put our own desires, our own possessions, our own wares above the needs of or just above people. God continues to detail how much our hands are covered in the blood of the innocent and how Rachel is weeping for her children.

So here is my take: Jesus would likely look at us with disappointment. That of all the “least of these” and “little ones” we could choose to ignore, our children are by far the most innocent and in need of our protection. Remind us that adding more weapons into this fight will help nothing, as God has been trying to tell us for a very long time. He would probably tell us that it is ours to do everything we can to safeguard and preserve their safety in an open and healthy environment. That should be our number one priority. They do not need more walls or gates. They need a world where they are not necessary. And last, he would likely ask us if his cross has really taught us nothing in two thousand years?

Our present situation requires concrete action. Supporting organizations working for change. Voting to make that change. Working to bring change where you personally can.

Because wrapping our children in thoughts and prayers is about as useful as wrapping them in toilet paper.

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