Can generosity solve the problem of school shootings in America?
This morning millions of mothers sent their kids off to school. I, myself, just sent my 3 kids off to school. Which is fine, moms send their kids to school, but when its only hours after 17 people lost their lives during one of the deadliest school shootings our country has seen, it’s anything but fine. Words cannot even describe the feeling, the sick, sinking feeling.
This is the news that leaves our entire nation wondering what are we doing? What is happening in our society that people are murdering innocent children, teachers, faculty etc.? At this pace, how many more lives will be lost this year alone?
I am a faithful follower of Jesus. I know in the deepest parts of my soul, God is good, I know His heart breaks more than I could ever understand for the horrors that His people are experiencing. I also know we live in a broken world full of evil, full of lies, full of darkness. And I know my purpose, as long as my lungs hold breath, is to restore God’s goodness to this world.
You know how you always think about where you were when something really big happens in the news, sort of how we all know where we were when 9-11 happened? Well, I did that yesterday when I heard about the school shooting. I thought about how I was in a monthly staff meeting at work talking about generosity, church giving.
After I realized that, I felt a little bit of guilt. How trivial, to be talking about money while people were dying in such a horrific way, I thought.
Then it hit me.
If we as Christ followers believe that the church is the hope of our fallen and broken world, then giving is anything but trivial, it’s essential, it’s the answer to all of this.
We don’t love to talk about giving in the church world. And when we do, it’s usually something about how when we are generous, God blesses us. Which, yes, I believe that. However, often this where the conversation tends to stop.
I don’t want the conversation about giving to stop with what it does to impact my life. I want to talk about how giving impacts other people, people far from God. People who might have had so much evil in their heart, but because of an interaction with a Christ follower, or an invitation to a local church, a taste of Biblical community, the entire trajectory of their life has forever changed.
I want the the conversation about how we stop school shootings to go beyond political divisiveness. We know what works, loving people. Creating space for people to experience the love of God. What if we measured the safety and wellness of people to the level of generosity in a community?
How can I be more generous? I know it’s not the first thing we think of when tragedy hits.
We want to blame broken systems, poor leadership or just “bad people”. But God set the perfect example of how to respond to the tragedies in our world. He sent His son. He watched His son die. His generosity poured out in response to the brokenness of this world.
Why wouldn’t we respond in generosity when we see evil and devastation? If you are anything like me, if you had to send kids to school today, can I ask you to partner with me and give? If you are not giving, can I challenge you to consider it? How else are we to solve one of the saddest ongoing tragedies our nation has ever faced? If we believe in the power of church, if we want people to experience the true love of God, if this is the answer, then we have to be generous. And we must start right now.