Through the years I keep having the same dream, over and over. . .it is a place of my childhood in which I would play in the neighborhood streets freely and openly with friends well past dark. It is a place in which as a child I would walk to and from school without my parents being worried about my well-being. It is a dream about a time in which school and church were places of sanctuary and safety.
For the longest while I have thought that this is just a dream about the “good ‘ole days.” I have resisted ever thinking that the best days are behind, or of a made-up and romanticized time. There was much about then, which is not better or right…we did not have drills for active shooter on campus, but we did have drills for nuclear attack. I would conjecture that child abuse cases then were even more numerous than today, just under-cover and under-reported.
After the Parkland, Florida school shooting this past week, many, including myself, have expressed feelings of numbness and deep, deep grief turning to anger. Many have said, “I cannot see one more face of a child who has died in another school shooting,” while turning their face from the television screen.
It is not real, nor right, to want to go back to that long-ago day of innocence. There has truly never been such a day. Or, if so, it was just a blip in our history in those first days in the Garden of Eden. We live in the year 2018 and are called to be faithful and true in this day, this time, this situation. Let us have dreams, but dreams of a bright future full of promise and life. All the better, let us have dreams and visions of today – in which we see the Kingdom of God among and within and around us.
This is the world I want to live in. . .a world in which we see and lift up the brightness and grace of Christ, especially in the midst of darkness. People who are lifting up a higher calling and better way in the midst of evil.
This is the world I want to live in. . .A world in which there is zero tolerance for school shootings and that such events cannot be a new normal. I see this new reality when students from the Parkland Douglas High School shout – this is unacceptable and we must do more than say, ‘you are in our thoughts and prayers’ — do something to stop the madness.
This is the world I want to live in. . .A world in which the low standard of a new normal of violence is challenged, just as this brave and articulate student, David Hogg, has done – CLICK HERE.
This is the world I want to live in. . .A world in which a teacher finds a way to address loneliness and bullying – a way in which neighbor meets neighbor. CLICK HERE to read an article by Glennon Doyle Meltonon about a teacher’s brilliant idea.
This is the world I want to live in . . . where we are each seeking to transform the world into what Jesus sees – the Kingdom of God which has come near. Believe! (Mark 1: 15).
Your Missional Strategist for Christ,
Rev. Dan Morley
North District Superintendent