You can...Thank Me Later.
A man shot two women in an elementary school yesterday. He was a fourth grade teacher in the school; he had not been offered a position for the '10-'11 school year and felt that gunning down the principal and assistant principal was the go-to strategy for being understood as an asset the school shouldn't overlook.
I can't help but think of how I would feel if my children had been students in his 4th grade classroom this year. Whatever they may have learned, what are the unspoken lessons they will take away?..
Whatever else this Crazy So and So(thank you grandmother for giving me a versatile vocabulary) imparted into the lives of the students for whom he was responsible for the last several months, he was seething under the surface with rage and he was ready to separate from reality, and someone placed children in his care. Who knew? I didn't know. Did you know? Did anyone know? What is in his records? Does he have a psych history? No? Hmm. I didn't know. Did you know?
I think the fourth graders knew. I think the people who didn't invite him back knew. He certainly knew. Turns out. A lot of people knew. The Superintendent of schools had been warned that he was unstable by and individual who did not want the man to know he was the one who passed the information... and though he was promised protection by the school board, declined to meet face to face. The man's brother.
Fortunately, school was dismissed because of snow. A light dusting that the sun melted at midday. If you have not previously believed God is active in the affairs of men... Imagine. There is a woman laying in the hospital in critical condition today. A woman who in herself may have wondered if she would give her life for her call. There were two students awaiting pick up in the office at the time of the shooting. They were not shot. No other students were in the building. Not yours. Not mine. Not one of those who trusted the school with the safety of their fourth graders.
God protected those kids. With snow. A lovely sprinkle of angel flakes like a lace covering to a gray angora sky all morning long. A strong shield of protection the minute it was needed.
Which brings me to the thank me later portion of the day...
As a homeschooling mom I am going to throw some things out there.
1) I feel a little guilty that we had light school and extended reading time ending with a Christian film that had a surprise adoption affirming ending, while death stalked children in my community. God doesn't want me to feel the guilt especially when I did nothing wrong, but I cannot help knowing what some of those families were missing out on. I am responsible to share with those who wonder if this will work for them that it might. They might love it.
2) I don't think that if these people would home school, this wouldn't happen. Some people in my city and county will undoubtedly make sweeping changes in the wake of this event. I hope they make the choice that is right for them. Not the choice that has been right for me up to this point. I am responsible to teach my children that we are not the center of the universe and NOT that everyone ought to do like we do and the world would be a better place. I have met the homeschooling mom who is not taking this responsibility seriously...she and her kids have marked our family for exclusion. I couldn't be more thrilled.
3) Our church has a private school attached. My kids were there one year and the impact was devastating. My kids are middle class biracial adopted twin girls. In private Christian school in the South. What were we thinking? We weren't. If we were, we would have been more pro-active. More visible. Less tolerant. Racism is not okay. I am responsible to re-visit this. I am responsible to ask the hard questions in order to help this school become a better alternative for families who may find the public school option has ended where they are concerned.
4) I have a teaching credential that I am hoarding for the benefit of my own family. You know the main reason I thought I wasn't cut out to be a teacher...I am messy and disorganized. Really? Messy and Disorganized? I am responsible to find out if I can bring back my A game. Am I needed? Am I wanted? Can I re-up?
5)Two years ago and man entered a Unitarian church in our community and opened fire. The congregants(you can't spell 'pacifist' without 'fist") subdued him until the police arrived. He was not able to turn the gun on himself. My neighbor was there. She was not hit, but her tiny children were there with her. One was splattered with blood. I wanted to send flowers or a card. They don't actually make that card. I ran into her in the grocery not long after. I hugged her while she cried for a minute in the produce section next to the grapes in Kroger. We talked for 45 minutes. I am responsible to see and to hear and to feel the hurts of others. This is what Jesus did. He got more blood on Him. I can't be Him, but I am responsible to represent His love. I am apparently not really good. I am all talk. Selfish.
Thank me later because I haven't done anything yet.