When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned for the Magi.
Matthew 2:16 (NIV)
I remember a time when, after reading this verse we would have said, “Imagine how barbaric they were! Imagine how horrible that must have been!” Now, we no longer need to use our imagination to see the horror of innocent, presumably safe, children suddenly being robbed of life in large numbers.
I remember a time when, if you heard a reporter use the words, body count or casualties, you knew he or she was talking about a war someplace. Now, we have to stop and listen because the reporter might be talking about our children’s school.
As we watch the story in Littleton, Colorado unfold, we hear reports that try to make sense of the event, yet profound questions remain unanswered and we are filled with emotional responses that range from fear to rage. Tragedy always leaves us with unanswered questions and a storm of emotions. Often, we are left with a sense that we waited too long to act. We want to know what could have been done to prevent the disaster. Regardless of whether we ever find answers for our questions, regardless of whether we ever identify all those who share the blame, tragedy reminds us of one very important thing. Life is precious and fragile.
If you are a parent, guardian, teacher, or care for children in any way, God has given you the privilege to care for those who are particularly precious and fragile because of their dependence upon you for protection, provision, guidance, and love. While some choose to disregard the precious lives of our children at great cost, we must decide that we will handle this responsibility with great care at all costs.
My prayer is that as we grapple with such senseless acts, we will find hope in the fact that God has blessed us with opportunities to make a difference right where we are with each precious and fragile young life we touch.