Hey SPV fam!
This week’s all-church email is from Jessica Throop who posted these shortly after a bullet was shot through a preschool classroom window last week in St Pete that her son Henson was in.
I think when faith is a big part of your life, it’s natural to want to thank God for keeping you safe if you’ve ever averted some sort of crisis. And I think gratitude is an important posture.
I’ve had a lot of folks thank God for keeping Henson safe yesterday. They are thanking God for protecting him and his classmates from that bullet someone fired into their classroom. And I know it comes from a place of great love and for that I’m incredibly grateful.
I struggle though to believe in a god that keeps my baby safe but doesn’t keep the other child (or adult) victims of gun violence safe. I don’t think I can reckon with a god who protects my baby but doesn’t keep brown babies out of cages at our southern border.
I do, however, believe in a God of love. And love allows for free will. Love does not impose control over people. And because of that, some babies are murdered and others are separated from their moms and dads because of the violence we humans cling to.
I believe in a God who wholly grieves with families mourning loved ones who’ve been murdered in their classrooms, their places of worship, grocery stores, entertainment spaces...
I believe in a God who is present with terrified mothers and fathers and children who’ve been ripped apart and forced into cages for legally seeking asylum from a lifetime of violence.
And I believe in the God who is showing up for me and my kids these last two days, as we process, in the form of the bodies of family members who sit with me and listen to me and feed me and love my kids while I take a hot shower.
A God who is showing up in the form of free chocolate chip cookies for my boys at coffee shops just because.
A God who is showing up in the encouraging and supportive phone calls and messages from those humans I’m so unbelievably blessed to be loved by.
I believe in a God who promises that life is stronger than death and love is stronger than hate and calls us to partner in fulfilling those promises by dedicating our lives to restoration, liberation, love, and justice for ALL their beloved creation.