Here we go again. Here we go again questioning, debating how evil can happen, how evil can happen to the innocent. Here we go again asking how someone slipped through the cracks and why we are having to bury our children. Here we go again arguing over whose fault it is. Here we go again searching for answers when the answer is right in front of us.
Last week I had gone for a walk and then to do some errands. I had no idea what was happening at a high school in Florida. When I got back to our apartment and turned on the TV, I saw children being interviewed and parents in tears. I saw a Florida Congressman already stirring up the gun control talk without even knowing really what happened. Then I saw the face of the young man who did this. It was the face of a lost soul. His eyes said it all. Here came the mental health debate by all the so-called experts who’ve never even met the kid. I thought, could it be that this fella is just angry, sad, lost, abandoned by the world and all of that churned inside of him until it exploded into this rage? How many more children are like him? Even with two parents in the home, children can feel that way. Parents aren’t raising their children much anymore, they rely on a phone, computer, television, or video game to do that. Look around you and see it anywhere you go. Maybe if our eyes would get off of an object for a minute, we would recognize what’s going on around us . Those things have become our gods. Self has become our god. People are searching for the answer.
Yesterday I watched a bit of the meeting between the President and those who have been involved in shootings, including the most recent. There were students, teachers, parents, and counselors. This was a good thing, to meet and discuss ways to improve security at schools. It has to be done. Think of all the places we go where there is security, but for some reason, our schools have been ignored. Maybe it’s because people don’t want children to feel like they are in a bad place, or that school is supposed to have a kind of carefree atmosphere. Who knows. One woman brought up the mental health issue and how in some cases, it isn’t a named disorder kind of thing. She said that sometimes there are children who are just full of anger. I hope we can come to some solution to this and I hope it is done locally, without much involvement from the Federal Government. People are searching for the answer.
Then there’s the Reverend Billy Graham. His passing is sad for this world, but God’s not through using Billy Graham. Isn’t it something how God’s timing works and He says, “Look over here in My direction for a minute.” There was Reverend Graham all over the television, the internet, and millions around the world were seeing him preach again. He was being shown once again preaching as a young man, then through middle age, and then speaking from his home, looking like an old prophet. His message always the same, “God loves you!” God was using Reverend Graham again, “God loves you!” Through all the din of the debates, the heartbreak, the anger on television and social media, God is reaching out to us, “God loves you!” We as a people have pushed God so far away, but He loves us so much that even though we have put Him back in a dark corner somewhere, He is still reaching out to us in our hurt and pain. He has the answer for the lost, the weary, and that answer is a relationship with His Son, Jesus. People are still searching for the answer.
God is also using Reverend Graham’s death as a message to Christians to get to work. This past Monday at our Baseball Bible Study, we talked about God’s Plan for us, His “Project” to spread His love, to fill the world with His glory, to be disciples for Him. A disciple of Jesus worships Him, serves Him, and teaches about Him. Whenever I have watched Billy Graham preach, I see all of that. I see the worshiper, the servant, and the great teacher. I want to see more of that in myself. The message through the passing of this great and humble servant is a message to us as Christians that we can do better, we need to do better. When you watch any of the Billy Graham Crusades from when he was a young man and until he retired, do you notice the faces of the people in the crowd? The camera always pans the crowd and every face is focused on Reverend Graham, I mean really focused. There was something about him that spoke to the heart and mind. Was it his stature, his very prominent Southern voice, or the intense look in his eyes as he spoke from the pulpit? Maybe, but what it came down to was The Message, God’s Message, that Billy Graham never wavered from. “God loves you!” As Christians we need to follow Reverend Graham’s example and stop the wavering. God’s message is loud and clear and never changes, because God never changes. We need to use our voices instead of keeping them safe inside the four walls of a church building. We need to be intent on doing God’s work, spreading His love. We can blame the FBI, or government leaders for allowing evil to fall through the cracks, but we need to look at how as God’s people we are allowing the same thing. We are allowing those who need Christ to fall through the cracks because we are afraid to share Christ, God’s true Message and His Plan He has for us. You don’t have to be a Billy Graham or prominent person. Take the gift God has given you and use it for His Glory.
I will always have the picture of that young shooter in my mind and I want that to urge me to do better. I have to wonder if anyone tried to disciple to that boy or if because of fear, they looked the other way and missed an opportunity that God opened up. I don’t know. What I do know is that we can’t save everyone, but God gives us all opportunities to close the cracks in someone’s life before they fall through. God loves us and those that understand His love, need to share His love because….. people are searching for the answer.
If you have a few moments for You Tube, or you are flipping through the channels one evening and land on a Billy Graham Crusade, I encourage you to watch his sermons. I have posted a 3 minute video below. Listen to the message and look at how he gets those in the crowd to thinking.
The Reverend Billy Graham… Edmonton, Alberta 1980