school choice, safety and a love for truth

At a party on Saturday several parents were talking about choosing a school for their soon-to-be-kindergarteners. School application time is nearly upon us, and we’re blessed with options. Private schools, charter schools, public schools, and several of each kind. One parent mentioned transportation as a factor. We all look at test scores and at what sort of emphasis the school has. Then there’s the likelihood of getting accepted. “It’s a great school – if you can get in,” I heard. One mom was talking up a school with organic lunches, a new building and a lovely courtyard…

The following morning I opened up the newspaper to find three articles about Friday’s events in Newtown, Connecticut. One from the Washington Post reprinted in our local paper described Newtown as “affluent and well-educated; the schools are stellar; the neighborhoods safe and everyone knows everyone.” Most of those parents believed they were sending their children to a good school. Even a safe school: “The website NeighborhoodScout.com ranks Newtown as the fifth safest city in the United States with a population of at least 25,000.”

I agree with Jeff Goins that sometimes no words are in order. But in this moment when the people of Newtown and in other parts of the country are walking in deep shadows, words from Isaiah the prophet come to mind:

“So justice is driven back,

and righteousness stands at a distance;

truth has stumbled in the streets,

honesty cannot enter.

Truth is nowhere to be found,

and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” (Isaiah 59:14-15)

The thing I was reminded of while studying Isaiah this year is that real, enduring peace is a certain future event. Till then, we help our children navigate the deep shadows, love truth and shun evil. No matter the cost.

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