Blessings Bags: Why Bother?

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I just get sad when I hear of another school shooting. The most recent one just happened the other day where an armed school officer shot the gunman before things got worse. He prevented it from escalating. I believe I saw that two people were injured before the gunman was shot and I don’t want to make light of those two injuries by any means but it could’ve gotten out of control quickly also.

I may be wrong, maybe it’s because I pay more attention to it than I have before, but it seems like violent outbreaks (like school shootings) are becoming more evident in society. It’s not just school shootings either. How about that “peaceful protest” that turned violent? You know, the one where students walked out of class for 17 minutes to honor the 17 victims of the recent Florida shooting. I’m not saying it wasn’t honorable or shouldn’t have happened, but the fact that it got so out of control that even more people became victims of violence it ridiculous.

I get scared sometimes to see where we are in society and think I’ve got to teach in this public education system for a number of years yet. If this is where we are now, how bad will it be in 10, 15, even 20 years? A lot of the underlying issues in many of these instances is that we, as a nation, have our hearts in the wrong place and where are hearts are is where our treasures will lie…

While hearts are one big concern, I think the other big huge factor is that we just don’t know accountability anymore. There’s no fear of being punished or getting in trouble. We work so hard to protect people that maybe we’ve lost sight of being able to hold them accountable. People act out because they were bullied, or because they have a mental issue, or struggle with depression. Again don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating these issues aren’t real by any means and that these people don’t need help because of them, but people do need to be held accountable regardless of what disadvantages they may have.

I mean we hand out participation trophies for crying out loud. Everyone feels they deserve something, that they’re entitled. A sense of entitlement would be the third thing I’d list as a major concern. The heart, lack of fear, sense of entitlement….that’s a recipe for a lot of fighting and bickering and bantering and quarreling and whatever other word you want to use. We’ve gotten too soft, too sensitive. I’m not saying don’t be sensitive, just do so while still holding people accountable for their actions.

While a lot of these issues are focused on schools, it’s really a society issue. So as a public educator who has a ways to go until retirement, how do I deal with this? It’s scary. We go into a lockdown at school and I seriously have to question if this is worth putting my family through. The answer always is a resounding yes by the way. I love my family more than I could ever express, but I also know that, at least for right now, God has called me into teaching in a public school. That is my mission field.

So since I know God has put me here, what’s next? I Peter 3:9 reminds us in the NIV version to not “repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but to repay evil with blessing!”  Another version says to “overcome evil with good.” So whether in school or society, if we truly want to see all these evil things stop, the Bible is clear to overcome it with good. I have a friend who calls it killing them with kindness.

While it would be foolish to think we can reach everyone, we can reach someone, and someone is important. So to answer the question of why does Lights UP North do Blessings Bags, I think at the base of it, that’s why. We can’t control what kind or how much kindness others show, but we can control our own. That is why we have undertaken the project of Blessings Bags.

Our first round of Blessings Bags went to a local hospital. There were 12 bags total. Not a huge amount and definitely won’t even make it through the year to bless people, but they are a start. These specific bags were geared towards young kids who get hospitalized for one reason or another. We also have future blessing bags planned so stay tuned as we prepare to put some together for new parents, homeless people, students going back to school and more.

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Our hope is to reach the U.P. one blessing at a time.

Be the change you want to see in the world!

Overcome evil with good!

Be blessed. Be a blessing!

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