Protection

Due to recent events nationally, I have focused more on the world than on God as of late and for that I apologize.  One of my stated purposes for this collection of short essays and thoughts is to throw the truth and the Truth out there.  While I have focused much on the events in Connecticut from one week ago, I have tried to keep it balanced with my desire to ensure that the Truth is heard.  In light of that, I will close my thoughts on the matter today because while it is easy to focus on evil, to dissect it, to prescribe cures for it, it is impossible to eliminate for me, for you, or for anyone else because it is a force beyond our comprehension.

How do we protect against evil if we cannot understand it?  How can we protect against more slaughterings of children in schools if we cannot understand why someone would target the most innocent amongst us?

Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11

So what is this understanding that we need to have in order to be guarded?  The pat answer is that we need an understanding of God’s saving grace and the Holy Sacrifice made by Christ.  Beyond that though, what is the understanding that we have to come to?  My take on it is that evil resides in the world and that no action of man will ever halt evil from striking where you think you are safest, or in this case, where people believed their children to be safest.

Why?  Isn’t that the significant question we always ask after any tragedy?

To that question, I say that there can be no answer that you will understand on this Earth.

I’m at war with the world

And they try to pull me into the dark

I struggle to find my faith

As I’m slipping from your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake

And my strength is fading fast

Skillet, Awake and Alive

When I first wrote on the atrocity and the outpouring of hate in a world that we want so desperately to be filled with love, it was with the distant observation of someone familiar with the love one feels for their children and how such a sudden traumatic blow would shake me to my core.  This was the killer’s objective – to not strike at the children, they were merely his targets, but to strike at that fundamental love that we share for our children.  Evil used that wonderful Godly blessing of love as tool of destruction within us.  It threatens to destroy more of us too as the post-atrocity time-frame focuses on how to prevent the next atrocity, which is foolhardy to believe that we, as humans, have any capability to do as the ways of evil come easy to us on this fallen world.

How does one protect from an atrocity of another?  It is as difficult to stop a mass murdered intent on a high body count unless you are willing to open your eyes to the evil at work throughout the world.  If you can perceive it and recognize it for what it is, then you have a vital tool at how to protect yourself from it.  Notice I refuse to consider the concept of prevention as I firmly believe that no preventative steps we take will ever be enough as the gross majority of mankind will follow the rules, play within the boundaries, and not go to extremes in order to maintain a stable world in which to live.

You can station armed guards and metal detectors at a school.  They themselves will become the first targets of opportunity as they are limited in number and can be overcome, especially in the event of a planned multiple attacker event such as Columbine or Beslan.

You can ban guns entirely and try to confiscate them, but the knowledge of how to make them remains.

You can lock up everyone who ever made an idle threat or anything construed as an idle threat, but at the cost of a free society and any semblance of personal liberty remaining.  This alone will not stop an atrocity as the rational person would just remain quiet and not broadcast their intent beforehand.

You can go so far as to search every person entering the building, station  tactical response teams on site at every school, and regulate firearms out of civilian ownership and yet, atrocities will happen.  They will happen with knives, swords, and bombs.

In the end, no preventative steps we take can prevent evil.  It always gets to take the initiative, while we must be ready to respond anywhere it could feasibly strike.

How best, can I as a father, protect my family in the face of these threats?  Despite what the world tells you, the responsibility is mine and mine alone.  I am ultimately responsible for my children and my wife and will answer God in regard to the discharge of my duties.  Will I say that I turned a blind eye toward evil?  Will I say that I looked evil in the eye and told it to keep back?  Will I say that I surrendered the tools of the mind and the body to provide for their safety and security to someone who ultimately is not responsible for my family’s safety?  Will I abdicate my rightful role as the guardian-redeemer of my family?

If I love my children and my wife with all of my heart, how can I not take every step available to me including that of taking up arms in their defense against the evil of the world?  Other men may look at me and scorn my decision to take that stand, so be it.  I answer to God, not men.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

John 17:15

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

What do we do in the face of inspeakable evil?  Ride out and meet it.

Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

Nehemiah 4:14

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