Lives Laid Down

I am deeply touched and saddened to hear about another school shooting. This time it was within the walls of a Christian school. Just because people are Christian and pray does not make them exempt from pains and sorrows or outside influences of evil from the world. No barricades or lockdowns can totally protect against a madman who has a plot to destroy and go on a killing rampage.

It is sad to think that the pastor of the church connected to this school lost his daughter during this massacre. It is also horrible that the head of the school was lost during the shooting as well. The school and community is reeling from these losses as well as the killing of two other children and two other adults. My thoughts and prayers are with them.

It is remarkable that the principal left a Zoom meeting and was ready to take on the shooter herself. She lost her life as she sought to confront the attacker and protect her students. Let it be said of her that “no greater love is this than one would lay down their life for their friends”. John 15:13.

This especially hits close to home for me as my daughter is a teacher of special needs students. She tells me stories almost daily when she thrusts herself in harms way for the protection and safety of her little friends. Her job has many challenges but regardless, it is obvious how much she loves these children. No doubt, she would risk her life for those children in the same way as the principal of Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville. When she was growing up, she attended a Christian school connected with a Presbyterian church in our community.

As a parent of a former student at a Christian school I want to address a few things. There is no guarantee that because my children attended a private church school that they were free of problems. There is no guarantee that other students in attendance are from Christian homes or behave in a “Christ-like” manner. Sometimes, it is even the opposite. There are bullies in every school. Some may feel unpopular or uncool if they are different. There is a sin nature in all of us especially among children who are growing in faith or have not embraced Christ as their savior. Some may have the opportunity but reject Christ. Some may embrace Him and walk away later in life.

Some parents send children to Christian schools who would not thrive in public settings. There are smaller classrooms with more focused attention. Some may have privilege and are sent to take advantage of pre-college curriculum. Some may have learning disabilities or attention deficit problems and hope to improve by smaller classes with more hands-on training by teachers. Others send their students to be taught in a more “Christ”-focused setting with hopes that they will have a positive atmosphere for growing and learning.

This world is full of young people who are facing mental challenges like never before. Just because a student attends a Christian school does not mean they will not face depression or anxiety. The world and home atmosphere have a strong influence on the mental psyche. They may hear the message of Christ at a school but each are accountable themselves whether they hear and respond to the gospel.

The woman carrying out this devastating carnage may have fallen through the cracks at some point. At this point, we don’t know her home life and influences. We don’t know what would have possessed her to devise such a heinous crime. She was an adult and had not been at the school for ten years. We don’t know what transpired in her life since she attended the school. I am sure her parents sought out the best school they thought would have the biggest impact on her. Unfortunately, it failed to sink in or stay with her. She should have sought help within the church and mental health community before it escalated to this point of no return.

God bless the school for those they have touched whether they professed Christianity or not. All they can do is keep training, loving, and educating the children. Future generations depend on schools like these to keep the spark of God’s love alive. May they rebuild and regrow in their quest to continue the work that began in reaching more children and families for Christ.

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