Kids

From a Mom Whose Kids Survived an Active School Shooting

Written by Shelby Spear

Humanity’s lament and God’s response:

On February 27, 2012, my children’s high school, in which my husband and I had a freshman, sophomore, and senior, was the target of a merciless school shooting. Three young boys lost their lives six years ago, and another goes through life with permanent paralysis. The victims’ families and thousands of people in our community, young and old, remain forever changed by this unthinkable tragedy.

Every time another school shooting takes place, my heart implodes yet again. The fact I can even type “every time another school shooting” is sickening. My soul cries for every parent, child, teacher, first responder, family member, friend, community member whose sense of normalcy just evaporated. 

And this is just the beginning. Although life will eventually move forward, the pain lingers. The effects of the trauma sometimes lie dormant for years until they flow like lava when you least expect. These people need support and love in ways you can’t imagine. Be there. Love them. Pray for them. Be there more. Love them harder. Pray unceasingly.

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This week has been a blur for me, a wild mess of emotions which ranged from rage to despair and everything in between. The only thing I could manage to say on behalf of the victims in Florida and on behalf of ALL victims of evil and violence was this:

My God, my God, why have you forsaken us?

And then I listened. I prayed. I cried. I sat in silence until I heard this:

I haven’t forsaken you, my child. People have forsaken one another.

I gave this universe the gift of humanity, beyond all other created things, so humans could experience my love firsthand in the bonds of relationship. Every miracle born into this world is a carrier of my Divine essence; Love incarnate in a human vessel designed to be both a giver and receiver of this gift.

Yet, humanity chooses to go it alone far too often. Even worse, certain people are abandoned and excluded against their will. The ego only serves to Edge God Out. My heart aches when I see this, for I created all of you from the same holy dust. Although you are each unique in human form, your core is identical. Love is love is love.

But this truth, the reality of who you are, why you are here continues to fade away into the darkness. You are missing the point of your existence: ambassadors of my love. A calling to live out together.

When you turn your back on love, destruction follows. Every time. Guaranteed.

Ignoring love looks like:

I’m better than you because . . . 

You’re wrong and I’m right because . . . 

It’s your fault, not mine because . . . 

And the ensuing rancor becomes the ice flowing through far too many self-preserving veins. Love doesn’t flow with such restriction. The reward of giving and receiving love, now lost.

Wholeness holds you. Division lets you fall. And the disconnect and separation means isolation. Isolation breeds resentment. Resentment breeds anger. Anger breeds hate. Hate lashes out. Everyone loses.

And all I ever wanted was for humanity to say yes to belonging because you all belong to me. Cherished to the bone; imperfections and all. But many have claimed to have more clout than me in deciding who is in or out, who is worthy and who isn’t, who has a right to life and who doesn’t. Love binds. Fear separates.

Sadly, taking on such power, seeing the heart matters of the world from such a limited, dualistic perspective has done nothing but hurt humanity to the core. The casualties of taking matters into your own hands are of epidemic proportion. And the entire universe weeps.

For any lasting change to take place, humans need to find and cultivate my LOVE. In their self, others, and in the relationship between the two. Because love heals all things. Gives hope to all things. Encourages all things. Overcomes all things.

Love never forsakes, but always delivers.

Choose love. You’re literally made for this.

All you need to do is open the eyes of your heart to see.

Then believe.

Then do.

In the end, love is a verb and “doing” looks like a lot of different things. How we put love into action to make a difference, enact change, advocate for and protect our children and the world is for each one of us to discern.

Godspeed.

About the author

Shelby Spear

Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-four years. She is working on her first book and you can read her open heart of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at https://shelbyspear.com/