Tragedy struck in Kentucky as the face of evil emerged in the murdering of two students at Marshall County High School and leaving more than a dozen shot and wounded—with some still in critical condition.
Unfortunately “active shooter” situations in schools are becoming commonplace, making some numb to the occurrence and leaving others feeling like this evil can never be overcome. What are we to do and how are we to cope during these dire times?
As a result of these heinous events, schools have been working closely with local and state police to properly prepare for intruders, active-shooters, and the physical and mental effects of “battlefield trauma.”
For those of us who help operate schools and school systems, we are constantly asking ourselves if we are prepared for these types of situations.
Questions such as:
“What can we do to prevent? To heal?”
“Are we allocating enough time, money and people to our emergency procedures?”
For those of us who are fathers and mothers, we ask questions as well:
“Are my kids safe at school when I drop them off?”
“Is my school prepared for emergency or traumatic situations?”
Our kids have tough questions too:
“Why did this happen?”
“Could anything like that happen at my school?”
So, what do we do as fathers of sons and daughters who ask these questions? What does biblical fatherhood look like during these times? Even more, how do families pick up the pieces when a loved one is victim to one of these attacks? How do we comfort a crushed community? It was reported that the mother of the suspect found out at the scene that it was her son who carried out these attacks, to which she immediately began vomiting and was faint. How does she recover?
Answers to these questions ring somewhat hollow because we know ultimate evil such as this cannot be overcome by human intervention alone. Nor, can human hands stitch together the gaping wounds of despair, pain and suffering caused by such evil acts.
The evil present in these situations must first be correctly identified. Jesus identifies Satan as the enemy – who has come to “kill, steal and destroy.” (John 10:10a) Knowing the enemy helps you better understand his tactics. By understanding the enemy’s tactics you can see clearly that tricking your heart is the battle plan. It’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” It's why we need to be intentionally discipling our kids.
The heart is ground zero in this war of good versus evil. Often it is a war of attrition, gaining some high-ground then losing a bit, only to regain it again. Our role as fathers (and mothers) is to help our sons and daughters find victory in the battle of the heart, through the Gospel of Christ. Salvation in Christ is the pivotal point between good and evil. His sufficient grace saves us from being led down evil paths. Loving God—knowing Christ—makes you love others.
Incredibly, this same love is the only thing that can heal the emotional and relational wounds our fellow brothers and sisters are facing in Benton, Kentucky. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Ps. 147:3) Again, it is salvation in Christ that is also the pivotal point between despair and hope.
We pray that anyone close to this situation comes to know the saving, healing hands of Jesus. Our world certainly needs Him now.
This is a guest post from Chad Foster. Chad has been married to Hollie for 17 years. They're raising two young men and a young lady. Chad has been working with families, students and teachers for nearly 20 years. He currently serves as a middle school principal and board member at Manhood Journey. Like this post? Give Chad a follow on Twitter.
Would you like to write for Manhood Journey? Email us your idea or submission and we'll be in touch.