Your babies are back in school or soon will be. You’ve pushed through the stress of purchasing all those back-to-school supplies, lunch boxes, shoes, and clothes. It was enough to challenge even the most organized of you. While my babies are grown, I’ve not forgotten what you’re going through.
My heart broke for you this week when I saw the newest back-to-school item for sale—bulletproof backpacks. Anger bubbled up and consumed my thoughts. What kind of world have we allowed?
As I prayed over what, if anything, to write about this subject, God brought to mind pictures I saw as a child in Sunday School. Pictures of a young shepherd boy named David, standing guard over his flock. In his hand was a shepherd’s crook and tucked in the waistband of his tunic was a sling.
We all recall the story of David and Goliath. If you are unfamiliar with this story, please read 1 Samuel 17. David called on the power of God to defeat Goliath. But we need to recall, or maybe it’s just that I need the reminder, David used lethal force along with God’s power. He didn’t lay down his sling and hope God would protect him. He used the weapon he had, a sling, along with God’s power to bring safety to his people.
I’ve never been one of those Christians who believes God calls us to be pacifists. To borrow a Sarah Palin phrase, “I’m a Mama Grizzly.” I always saw myself as a shepherdess of my children. A shepherdess who both guides and protects. If a Goliath had threatened my babies, then I, like David, would have called on the mighty power of God and used whatever weapon I had. If someone was going to harm my children, it was going to be over my dead body.
You may disagree with my thoughts about using force, but many won’t. When I ponder these bulletproof backpacks, my mind sees baby sheep wearing them. Babies who must wear protection because their shepherds (school leadership and elected officials) have not secured their safety.
Some argue the best way to create a safe world for our children is to remove everyone’s weapons. However, they have no answers to how to deal with the wolves and snakes who still prowl the perimeter looking for a child to pick off. If you believe the Bible, as I do, then you know there will be no end to the wolves and snakes. They’ll keep coming.
We each have to make our own judgments on this and I respect that. However, I do not think it is unChristian to protect the babies under your care and to use lethal force, if necessary. A shepherd’s job is the protection of the flock.
If you’re a principal, the school is your flock. If you’re a sheriff, the county is your flock. If you are the President, the country is your flock.
As you begin the school year, I pray for God’s protection over your children. I also pray for our leaders (from the principal to the President), to secure the perimeter of their flocks. Safety of those under their watch is their primary duty.
And, don’t forget…David carried a sling and he knew how to use it.
P.S. I’d love to know your thoughts on this difficult topic.