In photography, you can use filters over your camera lens or even over your flash or studio lights. The tiny & thin lens filters can correct or enhance a color in your photograph, change the look & feel, even take away color casts or filter the sunlight coming in. We also know about filters because of websites like Instagram that allow us to put filters on our photos after the photo has been taken to change the look & feel of our photographs before we post them for others to see.
This morning I woke up with the word "filter" in my thoughts. I assumed I simply had photography brain this morning and went on about my normal morning tasks of getting my kid's school things set out and ready before I woke them up.
I normally try to catch about 15 minutes of quiet, coffee time after the ironing, lunch packing and just before the waking up of the children and starting the process of getting everyone ready to go to school. During that time this morning, I wrote down the word "filter" in a notebook I keep right beside my favorite quiet, coffee time chair. As I looked at the word, trying to figure out why it was in my head, my thoughts drifted back to a conversation with my daughter yesterday.
I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday: “Mommy, will you please call my school and tell them that I think the bad people will still see me hiding behind my desk.” Melody-2nd grade.... I’m glad they are preparing, but I am so very sad that they have to .... and that my girls are scared now.
But the conversation with her went on from there.
That was the first thing Melody said to me as she was getting in the car. I know she had been waiting all day, or at least since the entire school performed a lock-down drill, to tell me this. All I could imagine was my sweet, innocent little girl crouched behind her desk thinking... but they will still see me. My heart sank picturing her there, scared.
I waited until the end of the day to continue a conversation with her about this and she was more than willing to tell me every detail. "Our classroom door does not lock. My teacher put a table in front of the door. Will you call her and ask her to find me a better place to hide?" With every very heartbreaking statement & question, I wanted to hold her in my arms and say... don't worry, this will not happen. But, that would not be the truth.
The truth is, it is happening all around our country and it's always in the "last place we thought it would happen" according to the people it happened to. So, I know that it could happen anywhere. I can't look at my daughter, who knows what happened recently in a Florida school, and truthfully say "this won't happen here".
So what do we do?
It was never on my mind to repeat what she told me by posting on Facebook or even in this blog until arriving home yesterday. I had left my television on when I went to pick up the kids from school. On the screen when I got home was the President of our country surrounded by students and parents from the school in Florida and other places. They were sharing their thoughts and giving their opinions on what we should or could do to protect our children. I started to cry as the mayor of Parkland, Florida read statements from the parents of the students who died during the school shooting.
The subject of school shootings surrounded me and covered me and all I felt was helpless.
There were so many great ideas brought up by the people taking to the President but, to me, they all seemed so overwhelming and difficult to quickly put into action to keep our children safe right now. I saw posts by other parents on Facebook saying, "What do we do?"... the same desperate plea being heard from worried parents everywhere and echoing in my own mind.
And that word "filter" comes again. What am I seeing, really? Our schools are preparing their students to be attacked and maybe not looking for the attackers. We are preparing them to become a victim, but are we looking though a dangerous filter by doing only this? What can we do at our homes? And the answer, I think, lies deeper than most of us are willing to admit. We should not only be preparing our kids for danger but also making sure our kids are not dangerous.
The shooter at Parkland has no biological parents left living. He wasn't even a student at the school anymore. The fact that he had access to the type of gun he used is a tragedy. The fact that he believed he had a motive to carry out this horrific act is beyond comprehension. And that fact that our society is trying to bandaid the situation will be a grave mistake.
My own thoughts on this are that we can't look at our own children through a filter. We have to realize that every child, even my own, has the potential to be bullied and to be the one bullying. They have the potential to be the victim or the aggressor. We need to have conversations with our children about not only how they are feeling and how they are being treated by others, but make it our mission to find out how they are treating others too. We need to take the filter off our own eyes, wake up and pay attention. This problem goes deeper than just the gun and the mentally unstable child, it goes to the core of who our own children are and we need make it our responsibility to see that, and see that very clearly.
Filter... it's a thing I can do in a positive or negative way.
DO NOT look through a filter that says... this will never happen and my kids are never going to have to go through this.
DO filter through my children's hearts and minds for any areas that might need attention or guidance.
A personal opinion, and one that I cannot go without saying, is that our country, our schools and our families have moved so very far away from our GOD. The farther we drift from God in our society the more we drift into a darkness that seems unending and unconquerable.
The darkness drifting into our schools... we should have seen it coming. We can't hide behind our desks because, without God back in his rightful place, it will continue to find us.
Let's start at home. Take the filters off and start filtering...
Praying for us all,
Andrea you are on spot with this post and we have all the answers from God in His Holy word all we need to do is pick up our Bible and look up the words He speaks to to us and not just read the verses but instill them into our daily living as the our daily bread. You are doing His work. Thank you
Thank you so much for this post. You are so right when you say our children have the potential to be bullied or to be the one who is doing the bullying. I work in the public and both of my girls work in the public. I have seen children and so have my girls who are so rude and disrespectful of adults. They do not care how old you are...they only care about getting what they want. This is so sad but so many "parents" are teaching their children that they are "entitled" to whatever they want. We are raising a generation of bullies because parents do not have the guts to stand up to their own children and say "NO".
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