I have no children… Not yet at least. I am, however, someone that loves my family, my friends, and all people dearly. I’m what most would call a “people person.”
So, like you, I’m left thinking about and wrestling through what happened Friday in Newtown Connecticut. With many more questions than answers, I thought I’d write about what I’m thinking… About what I’m feeling.
The truth is, I’m writing this post more for me than any of you. I do, though, think you’ll find it helpful in processing what the images, news broadcasts, and stories we’ve all heard over the last few days.
Why does something like this happen?
Why, in a world that is created by and impacted by a loving God, does evil like this happen? We’re always left with those questions after any horrific event or natural disaster.
The simple answer? We live in a fallen world. Since Adam and Eve, evil has existed. While God didn’t create the evil, he’s gracious and gives us all choice. Evil is really necessary because it allows us to choose… To choose right and wrong… To choose love… To choose God. Evil is real and can sometimes seem more powerful than love…
But, when allowed to rule, evil can do ugly, ugly things… Horrific things. Evil displays itself in many ways and, whether we like it or not, a very real Enemy to God and to good does exist and operate.
Why are millennials often the predator?
Someone asked me why it seems like young people (people in their 20’s) seem to be the ones that are inflicting the evil in these tragedies like the one we all felt on Friday. My first inclination was that I thought age had little do with it, that evil people come in all ages. After thinking about it, though, I think there is something to the fact that our younger people are acting out in violence.
Some would blame the evil on violent video games that today’s generation has been raised on or the movies we’ve grown up watching. I think that has very minimal effect.
The reason many millennials are acting out in violence? They feel the need to belong.
The millennial generation has a deep desire to belong to something. That’s why millennials are willing to volunteer and participate in causes. Study after study proves that todays 20 somethings are a community driven generation. That’s why social media has risen to such heights in the generation. When not properly directed, though, this need for belonging can be played out in harmful and evil ways… In tragic ways.
Now, don’t misunderstand, I know that there is a lot more at work here in why someone would walk into an elementary school and kill almost 30 people, but I think failing to belong can explain some of it.
Church, we have an opportunity every week, every day to help them belong. We have the ultimate ‘belonging’ message. We MUST share it. We must live it with intensity and boldness. We must rise up for a generation and a people.
What do we do now?
We certainly don’t have to have all the answers.
We certainly don’t.
We don’t have to make it go away.
We certainly can’t.
We do what we can do…
Just because we can’t do everything, doesn’t mean we don’t do anything…
We can pray for the families in this tragedy.
We can pray for our country.
We can pray for our country’s leaders.
We can love our kids.
We can love our neighbors.
We can reach out to hurting people.
We can offer a hand rather than turning our back.
We can offer hope.
We can offer love.