The other day my son Ethan came home from kindergarten and told me his class had practiced three different drills. The first two, a fire drill and earthquake drill, I had heard of before. The last one, a lockdown drill, was something new.
“What did you do during the lockdown drill?” I asked him, all the while keeping my tone light and even.
“We sat down in a corner of the room together.” His brown eyes looked at me with not an ounce of concern or fear. “We kept our head down so we wouldn’t get hurt if things fall down.”
He then proceeded to tell his younger sister that he could teach her these drills, too. I tuned out of the conversation for a moment as I contemplated the reality of his words.
Fires and earthquakes are a reality of life, as surely as the sun shines (almost) year round in California where we live. I never imagined however that school shootings could be, too.
The day I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a day when I started truly worrying as a parent. Sure, worrying comes with the territory of parenting. From birth, we worry if our babies are getting enough nutrition, wearing enough clothes, speaking and walking at the right times… The list goes on and on. To some degree, these worries can be addressed and controlled, sometimes by talking to a fellow parent or seeing a medical professional.
School shootings though are a different kind of beast all together. There is nothing controllable about them. If and when this beast chooses to attack, it does so with unpredictability and widespread damage. How do we raise our children while this beast lurks outside in the shadows? How can we live confidently and without fear in this broken world?
As I listened to my son instruct my daughter to sit in a corner of the room, I was reminded of the blessed security of innocence. How I miss those days of knowing less – less evil, less sadness and less fear. To my kids, a lockdown drill was an activity, a game. Their young, pure minds have no idea of the purpose behind their huddling and hiding. Their notions of bad guys are masked figures whom superheroes in tights fight and capture. They see life from a perspective where the good guys always win.
As a Christian, I have been taught to believe the good guys always win. It’s hard to see that truth though when we read the headlines. It’s especially hard to accept when children are the victims.
But we have to believe the good guys do win. Jesus was the ultimate proof of that. Even after all he endured – the taunting, the beatings and death on a cross – he won. When his disciples saw his empty tomb and better yet, when they saw him risen from the dead, they knew he had won. Good had triumphed over evil. Good will ultimately triumph in the end.
In this uncertain world and these changing times, we must hold on to God. He is our only constant, only truth and only hope we have in this life. He is our salvation, our ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1) and the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13). Though we are but a mist (James 4:14), he comforts us as his children (Isaiah 66:13) and records each tear we shed (Psalm 56:8).
These are the truths I cling to when I kiss my children each morning before they leave for school. As they walk away, I acknowledge there are fewer and fewer things I can control about their lives. With each passing year, their innocent eyes are opened to this fallen world. But the one I entrust them to remains the same. He is forever good and forever loving. He will forever be the good guy who is on our side. And being assured of this provides me with the need for a drill of my own, one in which I take my worries and place them in lockdown in the hands of God.
By Liwen Y. Ho | Author | Website
Liwen is a full time wife and mom and a part time writer. She is the author of her first picture book, A Rainbow of Nine Colors and blogs about life as a recovering perfectionist.