An except from an article by Chris onfaithstreet.com.
In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the apostles, exhorting them to declare unambiguously “the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” As I type these words, it’s a crisp morning. Spring has finally sprung and so snowdrops have replaced snow banks at the foot of the fence. A rain shower at dawn has left pools for the songbirds, which are now serenading me.
My office is three stories up, and so my office window frames a masterpiece: a pallet of maple branches pregnant with orange and crimson buds eager to burst with new life. In the serenity of this moment, it is easy to believe that the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. But then the melodies of nature are interrupted by the piercing shrill of a fire truck (really, I can hear a siren now) exiting the station on the corner. In Hartford, the fire department are the first responders, so I wonder: “Has someone been shot?”
The kingdom: a false promise?
Several people in our circle have been shot over the years. There was Mark, a street person with schizophrenia, a heroin addiction, and an eagerness to be helpful. I once stood between him and a kid who was maybe 16 years old who was pointing a gun at him and threatening to kill him. The kid pistol whipped me and took off. Mark’s life was spared that day only for him to be shot dead six months later.
There was Herbie, the boy who at 13 couldn’t tell me what he wanted to be when he grew up . . . maybe because he knew he wouldn’t. At 17, he was shot and bled out in a gutter.
There was K.J., who was gunned down on his own porch while his mother was inside watching television. His father, a firefighter, was working the night the call came in that there had been a shooting at his address. K.J. was only 14.
How is it that children can be gunned down in the kingdom of Heaven?
Read the full article on faithstreet.com.