Treating the Symptoms

Treating the Symptoms

It’s what we do in America…we treat the symptoms. They are easy to treat. When our allergies flare up, we don’t dust our house, we take an Allegra. If we aren’t getting enough rest, we don’t rearrange our schedules to allow for more rest we medicate. When we get a sunburn, we cover ourselves in aloe and yet forget to put on sunscreen the next time we are out in the sun. The problems still exist, but we have calmed the ailments enough to move on.

Yesterday, we faced another school shooting. It seems like violence in our schools is now a weekly occurrence. In fact there have been 74 school shootings in the last 18 months.Some hurting or marginalized students go on the attack with a knife, gun, or some other weapon. It has been 20 years since Columbine, and it seems like the violence is only increasing. (To warn you this is not a post about gun control; you won’t find me wading into those waters. Although, I don’t think making drugs illegal has made them impossible to get, just more dangerous and expensive.) After every school shooting, we immediately hear talking heads on TV telling us that the solution is gun control. Voices start crying out that if we didn’t have access to guns, we would have not had a school shooting.


I am running out of words of response to school shootings. My prayer is that of the Apostle Paul in Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Every time I set foot on a school campus, I normally notice one thing. I have been in Schools from Texas to Michigan and from Tennessee to California and in all of those, I see one thing. We have a HOPE problem. Sure, there is a bullying epidemic, but those are just students trying to be heard in a world that silences them. Sure, we have a drug problem, but that is just students trying to numb the pain. Clearly, we have students shooting and stabbing each other, but those are hurting kids lacking purpose and hope. Without question, we have a mental heath crisis with no idea even where to begin.

I know this – desperate people do desperate things. Desperation exists when people are either so filled with hope that they are running to share it or when people have no hope and will do anything to numb the pain and get some attention. We live in a world where we determine a kid’s success by how well they can memorize and fill in dots with a number two pencil.

Attack on Schools

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the solutions. I love what Aristole said, “Hope is a waking dream.” Want to meet people filled with hope? Meet those who are dreaming awake. Sadly, I have met students by the thousands that have no hope and no dream for the future. Go to any college campus and meet the throngs of freshman who are “undeclared” and getting in debt up to their eyeballs because the “American Dream” sent them there.

I know one solution: let’s get hope to our school campuses by the truckload. Let’s shop in bulk at Costco and ship all the hope we can to our schools. If you are a student, love the hurting and outcast…you may be saving his or her life and yours in the process. As Plato reminds us, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” If you are a parent, remind your kids of that. If you are a school administrator, I would love to come and bring our school assembly program, ACTIVATE, and as much hope as we can to your school. If you are a brand or corporation, and would like to sponsor bringing hope to schools, please reach out to our team on how you can help bring hope to campuses all across America. If you are a church leader, send your people to serve and support our schools; partner with other churches to being great programs to schools.(I don’t even care if it’s ours, we can’t reach every school)

Let’s get started on working on the problem. Let’s bring hope to the broken. Let’s awaken the dreams of a generation. I am praying our schools would one day soon abound in hope again.

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