I wanted to share a quick passage from Dave Cullen’s incredible book about the Columbine shooting. I've been reading it this week and I've been absolutely blown away.
While the shooting was still happening, parents gathered at the public library to wait for their kids to be transported after being rescued or escaping from the high school. Some students returned unharmed and the parents rejoiced. Other parents waited all day just to discover their child had died.
A Red Cross volunteer at the library witnessed a difference in the way a lot of Christian parents were handling the tragedy.
“The way that those families reacted was markedly different. It was like a hundred and eighty degrees from where everybody else was. They were signing; they were praying; they were comforting other parents, especially the parents of Isaiah Shoels [the only African American killed]. They were thinking a lot about the other parents, the other families, and responding a lot to other people’s needs. They were definitely in pain, and you could see it in their eyes, but they were very confident of where their kids were. They were at peace with it. It was like they were a living example of their faith.”
This is what being different from the rest of the world is supposed to look like.
I think we cheapen the ways we’re supposed to stand out as Christians. We applaud ourselves for not listening to “that type of music,” seeing “those movies,” saying “bad words.”
But how do we handle our anger? What do we do with our jealousy, regrets, or doubts? What do we do when tragedy strikes? How do we apologize? Are our responses no different from someone who doesn’t know Christ?
I’m not saying we’re not allowed to hurt, grieve, or feel lost. We will all experience dark times. I’m not sharing this passage to shame us for not doing enough.
For me it was so encouraging to read. Look at these parents! When your life is centered around Christ it is possible to share hope and compassion with others while you’re going through the same tragedy.
I want to be like them.