Find safety through understanding one God: How a principal prayed and what took place when shots were fired at school

The exploration of various strategies for keeping our schools, places of worship, workplaces, and homes safe is a topic of much discussion these days. Humanity seems to be searching for answers regarding where, how, and with whom we can find lasting safety—a safety that fills us with confidence as we go about our days. 

Before I retired from being an elementary school principal, I had the privilege of overseeing the care of more than four hundred beautiful children each school day as well as supporting staff members and families. It was important to me to wake early to pray during the still moments of the morning, centering my thoughts on the allness of God and the reality of His ever-presence, and then work to dwell on that during each day. The following Bible verse was helpful to me in this daily prayer: “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13). This reminded me that the work was not mine to do alone; we always have God’s tender care and guardianship guiding us at all times, and we can do our part by availing ourselves of this. 

A very powerful experience occurred during my time as school principal: We experienced a school shooting on a playground where more than two hundred students were at recess. When I was notified by our custodian that this was happening, I remember thinking, “God, no!” As opposed to that being an expletive of any sort, it was literally a crying out of “God, NO!”

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When life defies our efforts to plan
August 26, 2019

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