Every day I have a routine. Actually I have many routines throughout my day but the one that I really look forward to is picking up "daddy's baby" my 6 year old little lady. During the ride home we have deep discussions on a variety of topics, like, fairies, Doc McStuffins, magic carpets, princesses, and McDonalds. But one day she brought up something a little different. When I asked her about her day she said that the school had a lock drill, what she meant was that the school had conducted a (lock down drill), and her teacher told her that if a bad stranger comes, they have to be quiet and hide in a designated room. Even though she brought a letter home the week before informing us that the school would be conducting these kinds of drills, I still was not prepared for the answer I got when I asked her how her day was.
Something just seems surreal about hearing a kindergartener talk about, bad strangers and lock down drills. It almost seems as if they are being forced to lose their innocence for the sake if safety. Don't get me wrong, lock down drills are a spectacular idea, and I am all for doing whatever it takes to keep children alive. But before the Newtown tragedy, the most my little girl had to think about was which doll she was going to play with, or what she was going to have for a snack. But now, her life, and the lives of every six year old in America has been forever changed.
The ride home was the longest one of my life. I had to explain why there are bad people who want to hurt others, and describe in detail why it is important to take the necessary steps for survival. As usual each explanation, prompted another question, and each question made me just a little more uncomfortable as I tried to find the right words to describe the reality of evil. I think she understands as much as the mind of a gifted 6 year old could, because to her it was just another lesson learned in school with her friends and the teacher that she loves. However it was also a lesson for me both as an American and as a father. When tragedy strikes one of us it affects us all. Many of us react to catastrophe by thanking God that it wasn't our child, or one of our family member, and count ourselves blessed for not being on the receiving end. But the realty is, we all become victims to some degree whether we were ready or not, and the wicked world that we live in will always prompt us to leave our comfort zones and seek sustenance in order to maintain peace. That sustenance is The Lord, and that peace is that which can only be found in him.