What Could Have Stopped Robbie Hawkins?
Ann's blog touches on something my mind keeps coming back to as well. What would it have taken to prevent such a tragedy? You may have seen the Thursday morning press release where city officials described details of the shooting, the response teams, the victims names, etc. The sad truth, only visible from hindsight, is that not a single member of an emergency response team was on the scene in time to prevent any loss of life. Robby Hawkins was unstoppable. It leaves one wondering if any amount of mall security, surveillance cameras, or additional police could make our world a safer place.
At one point in Hawkins life, he probably was an individual who could have been reached. Correction facilities didn't turn him around. It didn't happen in his adolescent years. It didn't happen in his home or in his childhood. So what does that leave us? It leaves us with the challenge of loving people boldly in spite of the fact that we live in a scary and insane world. Preventing a life from going badly wrong at 19 might be as simple as reaching out in love to a struggling family in your neighborhood. Protecting ourselves from crazy people hell-bent on killing others and themselves means reaching them with Christ's love before they get that way.
We'll continue to need police officers, security workers, emergency medical personnel as long as we live in such a fallen world. Their readiness to face danger should be commended - our gratitude and prayers are with them. Meanwhile, lets continue to love people and see if God's word rings true that commands us to overcome evil with good. I've found renewed energy for prayer this week for our schools - that kids who love Jesus will reach out and include that awkward 5th grader, geeky sophomore or angry 12 year old. As adults let's join our kids with our own acts of kindness and love at work and in our neighborhoods. Yes, Ann, God loves Robbie Hawkins as well as every other unloveable person we could imagine. But God shows his love through his children.
A few thoughts on love from John the disciple of Jesus:
1 John 3:16-18 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
John 15:9-13 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.