Florida High School Shooting

I ran as I watched it on the TV.

As I watched an event unfold that should tear us all to pieces.

But when I looked around, I saw nothing out of the ordinary.

A few glances at the TV, then right back to lifting weights, biking or staring at a screen.

As I ran and saw the headline “Florida High School Shooting” I got angrier.

I got to the point where I couldn’t just run, watch and wait as if that would do anything for the parents, husbands, wives, mothers, daughters, brothers to these students and faculty who probably stood there stunned by what they saw.

When I realized how upset I was and I looked around, I was more angry at myself and the people around me than I was at the event.

School shootings may be more common than ever, but that doesn’t mean they should be easier to forget. Just because I’m not from Florida doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be devastated by this. Just because I didn’t know anyone personally, doesn’t mean my heart shouldn’t be shattered- and not for one second before I go back to doing my own thing.

Just because I have school, work, homework, meetings, doesn’t mean I can’t stop to recognize the devastation that is going on.

As I write this and hear laughter and conversations about other things I’m saddened. I’m saddened that a place such as a Christian university, I saw and heard of nobody taking a moment to stop what they were doing and just pray.

I’m saddened because people will see this on the news and be upset, but only as long as they want to be. Their phone will buzz and they might bring it up, but most likely, they’ll continue on with their conversation.

Lives, young lives, were lost today, and many before them in a crime that I will never understand. Lives were lost. Does that mean anything to us anymore?

As Christians, we’re told to pray about everything: Philippians 4:6.

Is that something we are committed to?

Are we so self-involved that we have forgotten how to care for our brothers and sisters that aren’t in our “bubble”? These people might be hundreds of miles away, but that doesn’t mean we should care less, pray less, listen less or love less.

I often wondered what people meant when they said Christians aren’t as unified as they could be. Now I can understand why that might be.

I hope that this article makes you feel hurt, sad and honestly convicted as I have felt. Convicted to remember that these are precious lives that in God’s eyes, are just as important as ours. None of our lives are more important than another, no matter the distance, the difference in culture, race, age, gender etc.

How much time are we willing to take away from our own lives, to think about others, to mourn, cry, hurt, pray and love with others during horrific moments like these.

I encourage you to think about these things, Christian or not. How careless are you willing to allow the society you live in, to be?

 

Las Vegas: “You’re in my prayers”… Are They?

 

Everyone is talking about the Las Vegas shooting and it brings up some hard questions.

It leads me to ask “where is God in the midst of all this pain?”

“What is he planning and why does he allow this to happen?”

“How can I even pray about something I feel I have no power over?”

I believe these questions are necessary, even encouraged. The disciples asked questions such as these and we are free to do the same.

However, asking the questions doesn’t make it any easier. This is still something hard to handle, deal with, and understand.

I, unfortunately, sometimes find myself avoiding the topic altogether. I become overwhelmed or I feel a lack of means or authority to say anything.

One thing I do how to do it pray. But not the typical “you’re in my prayers” or “I’ll pray about that” kind of prayer.

Events such as these, make me realize how little meaning those statements can carry. And I say that because I myself, neglect those words.

A devastating event like this (or hurricane Harvey or Maria)calls for more than just a quick prayer to ease your conscious or to check it off your list. This is something that affects so many people today and will continue to do so.

This is something a new generation will read in their textbooks. This is something that will be remembered annually. Something many will mourn for longer than a minute.

So it deserves more than a couple seconds of prayer.

Let this be a reminder of how we care for people and our broken world. Let it also be a reminder to take into consideration the meaning of “you’re in my prayers.”

While I am aware that there are people out there who are magnificent at this, I know there are people like myself who needed a new perspective and a little tug on the heart from God to recognize this.

So, with all that said, I hope you’ll join me in asking these hard questions. But also, in praying consistently, deeply, and with meaning as our country grieves.

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)

Is Harvey, Irma, Jose a mirror Of Us As Humans?

Is our sin the cause of these natural disasters?

That’s a BIG question, I know.

Recently, I worked on a reading assignment with the book “Where Was God?” by Erwin W. Lutzer. One thing he brings up is the idea that because we are sinners, we now live in a sinful, imperfect environment, hence, the disasters.

“…Paul then connects the curse of nature with man’s sin. He points out that man’s state of sin was his own doing, but God subjected nature to the curse even though it had no part in the decision: ‘For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice.’ Mankind, now tainted with sin, could not live in a perfect sinless environment. So Creation became an impersonal victim of Adam’s personal choice to rebel.”

So, do you think that when we see the devastation that Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katrina, and so many other natural disasters bring, are a reflection of what God sees in us? Or maybe what we should see in ourselves?

Hurricane-Irma-damage-pictures-Caribbean-photos-storm-Virgin-Islands-Bahamas-1059287
http://bit.ly/2wwg3ik

The author also spoke about how nature is both evil and good. After a blistering snow storm in Michigan, the next morning, the sun reflects off the snow creating a glistening wonderland and everything is still and beautiful. Or after a tornado, everything is calm and unmoving. Or we could get really clichè and talk about how rain always comes before a rainbow.

Is this not like us as humans? I can tell you that I have had many days where I feel like those dark clouds: swarming, combining and planning a storm. then, the very next day or even hour – especially after I have some heart -to -heart with Jesus-  I feel like the sun is shining brighter and warmer just for me…

“But we are a mixture of good and evil, and all too often evil takes the upper hand. Nature is therefore a mirror in which we see ourselves.”

I have heard and read many times that nature has no feelings. It doesn’t care. It does not stop for someone we deem worthy of survival, it does not avoid the rich, most developed cities. It doesn’t feel for the poverty-stricken villages. It just plows through hitting and damaging anything that gets in its way.

What Does Nature Have to Do With Us?

So then, what if this is also our reaction or feelings toward our sins? That we are indifferent to them. We don’t care, we just keep moving on damaging ourselves and others around us without possibly knowing or even caring?

It felt like a jab to the heart when I thought about this. The idea that our sins have the potential to create a hurricane inside us and around us and we may not know or care. It’s not an easy topic to think about and maybe it feels like a stretch to some. But it made me think.

With all of these natural disasters hitting so close to home for some of us, it’s important to recognize that yes, we do live in a fallen world. One where nature can destroy just about anything at any moment. However, there is still good. God is still good. These things pass and we rise from it each time until we get the privilege to walk into eternity.

My heart and prayers go out to the people affected by any of the disasters around the world.

I’m interested in how you feel about this author’s opinion… I’m not entirely sure myself but would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Until next time,

Aubree

(God, I pray for whoever reads this that You use these words for their good and for their needs specifically. And that anything I might have said that does not align with Your Words and beliefs that You change it so that it does.)