“Never again will I curse the ground because of man.” Gen. 8:21
I’m not going to write about the flood, but I am going to mention a rainbow.
As you may know, the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida have labeled one of several organized protests against the lack of political movement to quell gun violence, especially with assault-type weapons, “Never Again.”
When they returned to that school on Monday to retrieve what they had left behind in the wake of the shooting, which left fourteen students and three faculty dead, they were greeted by a rainbow in the sky.
The school hockey team lost one member to the shooting. They were to play in a tournament to decide the state championship and they were not expected to move up in the brackets. They won the state with seventeen players.
Let’s recap. Seventeen people killed. Seventeen players won the state hockey championship as underdogs. One protest movement chose “Never Again” as their slogan and a rainbow greeted them on Monday as they went to the school for the first time since the shooting.
If I were a person who looked for omens and signs, and I was one of those the students feel have dragged their feet due to political pressure, I’d be worried. In fact, they need to be worried regardless.
I was in my mid twenties when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. I remember a preacher passed out literature with a black man’s face super-imposed over a monkey, which contained all the dangers of rape and sexually transmitted diseases and social chaos blacks and black/white marriage would bring into the populace if they were granted equality. A discussion took place and one preacher offered what he felt was the calming word. He said something like, “This can’t be pushed on people. You can legislate it. It will take time.”
“Now is not the time to talk about it.” “We’ve got to move slowly” That has been said after every mass shooting or social crisis. But there comes a time when, as Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Get ready, that time has come, just as it did with integration and a long historical list of other such events.
There are those who see the students at Stoneman Douglas as immature and not able to make decisions on such an important issue. On one social media outlet, a retired teacher for 24 years, wrote her solution to Parkland’s shooting. She told the students not to protest, but to go back to school and find the lonely, ignored, etc., person and make friends with them. It was long letter offering some good advice. It seems she was sure this would solve the problem. Her solution never addressed the fact that some damaged people do not kill others, in fact, in many cases they go on to become leaders. The mystery of nurture or nature and evil has not yet been solved. Her suggestion misses the urgency. While reaching out to the “loner” or lonely, nothing is done to stop the one not yet reached, or can’t be reached, who has a killing machine in their hand.
Where would we be with racism in America if no one had stood up and said, “Enough”? I’m not sure where we would be, but it wouldn’t be where we are, and we’ve not gone far enough.
Those who see the students as being children, not mature enough to understand the big picture, might want to remember the quiet line of black children walking in protest in Montgomery Ala., who were met with fire hoses and police dogs. It was seen around the world and the power of Jim Crow and Bull Conner cracked a little more.
These young people in Florida were met with round after round from an assault rifle. It also was seen around the world and the survivors can hear the political powers cracking.
Throwing in a little Bible, we might remember David and Goliath, which has become the standard for the little guy beating the big guy. Or even the words of the prophet Isaiah, “And a little child shall lead them.”
Students across America are making their voices heard. They will march on Washington and they will not even have to march around the Capital seven times, if you listen carefully you can already hear the foundations of self-interest, greed and power cracking. The time has come. Sadly once again, at the cost of children.
Finally, the words of junior Sheryl Acquarola, as she gave her emotional protest speech at the State House in Tallahassee: She said her little brother told her as he left for his grade school following the Douglas shooting, “Don’t worry, I won’t be murdered at school today.” Think about that.
3-Vivian Dugan 5-Bonnie Blessing
12-Buster McRoy 13-Bill Albert
29-James Downing 31-Erma Williams
10-Alan & Joni Beach
19-Bill & Martha Alb
CONCERNS: Judy Hall was to be transferred to Raleigh Court Nursing Care on Friday. Mark McRoy asks prayer for a colleague, Keith Scott and his wife who lost a three month old baby to apparent SIDS. Also prayers for Carlos and Silvia Baltedano who live in Montellano, Guatemala and are part of the Health Talents team at the Ezell Clinic. Deanna McRoy has been given a cancer free at this time. However, her type of cancer is very aggressive and can return. Teryn Gaynor’s mother is still being treated for cancer. Both Joni and Alan Beach’s parents are experiencing health problems as is Del Bolin’s mother. Continue to remember Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver, Marjorie Wilson Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Rat and Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jamie Cole, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
March 11 (next Sunday) starts Daylight Savings Time. Be sure to set your clocks ahead an hour before going to bed on Saturday.
Each year, usually in March, a member of Gideons International speaks to us about the Gideon’s work of distributing Bibles throughout the world. Richard Perkins will represent them this year. He will speak briefly before the sermon and will take an offering in the foyer after the service from those who wish to contribute.
Thanks to Len Jordan for cleaning up the lower end of the parking lot. It had been overgrown with ivy creeping out from the yard. Lyn is also interested in cleaning the lower end of the yard between us and the apartments. Since we now pay for refuse collection all be have to do is stack it on the curb. However, large trees will have to be cut in smaller sections. A day will be planned for this work as the weather gets milder.
The Wednesday Evening Class continues in the Gospel of John. This week we will start chapter 4, where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well.
March 18 will be the next Super Sunday. Plan now to attend.
If you are graduating from any educational school or training center, let Erma Williams Know. The banquet will be in May.
Vivian Dugan will be away for the next few weeks.