A feature of the world that we have to live in today is violence in public places – mindless violence, deadly violence, unthinkable violence. Violence often without a reason, random violence, and violence in schools. What parent has not had a moment of cold fear wondering if that violence could ever touch my family.
The scary thing about random violence is that there’s nowhere you can run or hide – as we found out last year. Even the Amish could not escape school violence. Violence could claim anybody’s life. Even if you do not run in a gang or deal drugs violence can find you. It’s a risk to leave your house. It’s a risk even to stay in your house because actuarial tables show that the majority of people die at home. You cannot live life without risk. Even if you manage to make it into your 90’s, death will catch you then. The only possible way, the only possible strategy for dealing with violence, is to pray every day for God’s protection through his holy angels and secondly to put it out of your mind and not obsess over it.
The only possible Christian way to deal with a life full of risk and violence is to simply make the best use of every day God gives you, and use every hour and minute well. If the Lord should allow an act of violence to shorten or end our time on this earth, then that is his call and means that our work is done. But my job is not to court violence by stupidity or recklessness, or to court danger. My job is simply not to be terrified or paralyzed by fear but to give glory to God in the way I live, use my gifts and talents well, and prepare now to meet my Lord if today should be my day to catch a bullet.