School Shootings in Perspective

I am not writing about gun control or mental illness, but something much bigger. I am not trying to minimize the tragedy of what happened Parkland, when a maniac opened fire on students and teachers at a Florida high school. If anything, I will be magnifying it to a horrific degree.

I do not know what the odds are that your son or daughter will be caught in an active shooter situation, but I do know that the odds of them dying some day is 1:1, or 100%. On any given day in 2014, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), they could have been one of 7,197 Americans to pass into eternity. That is up from 6,775 in 2008, which is a 422 death per day increase. I am sure that if that there is a way to look at that to ameliorate our shock at that number: the population has increased to a level in those 6 years to explain the increase. And there are ways to deal with the fact that almost 7,200 people die in America every day. After all, on average, only 36 of those deaths are from firearms, which is half a per cent.

Whether you, your neighbor, or your child is a victim of gun violence at an early age, or they live long enough to die in a nursing home in their nineties, they will all pass into eternity, whether they are ready or not. And how many of us are ready? The CDC has no figures on how many people die every day at peace with their maker, versus how many die in terrifying dread, whether it is suddenly or after long, agonizing contemplation. Indeed, we are actively discouraged from even talking about it. I am pretty sure most of us have spent our lives avoiding or resisting the subject, right up to the point of death. That is how messed up we are.

It is so obvious that we are sinners, yet we live in denial. We are more concerned about how we are judged in this life, according to our age, weight, sex, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, gender identity, food choices, etc., than we are about how we will be judged by our God, the one who created us. An offer of free salvation is spurned because we don’t like the people who have accepted it.

Jesus lived during a brutal time under a brutal dictatorship. People were left crucified along the road as an example to anyone who might be feeling rebellious. Yet, He never told people to rise up and fight it. He never criticized the regime. He never asked the government to do something about poverty and suffering. He talked about eternity and how to spend it with Him. He said this world was temporary, and that we should not fear him who can kill the body, but fear Him who can throw you body and soul into hell.

Am I saying we should do nothing about the suffering in the world? No, but we should not forget that suffering survives this world for those who refuse the gift of God given though Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who gave His life as a ransom for many, and who rose again to prove it. If we care less about this than our mortal lives, we are very short sighted.

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