Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence? – Psalm 139:7
This week the Internet has been flooded with inflammatory memes, offensive comments, and outrageous ideas. The temptation to jump in and rebut, or argue, or yell, or worse has been strong at times. But I’ve held off because there is no value in tit for tat, especially when the truth of the Good News is so obvious to anyone willing to pay attention to the heart of Jesus.
There is one message, however, that I can’t ignore. It’s been passed around before, and it’s doing the rounds again. I can’t believe some of the names I have seen attached to the “forwards” and “shares.” But I really shouldn’t be surprised, because one of the chief weapons of the enemy is deception and I believe he has half the country or more in his pocket at the moment.
THE MEME: The meme in question has “A concerned student” asking, “Dear God, why do you allow so much violence in our schools?” The reply offered, on behalf of God, is not only cynical but deeply contemptuous to the victims of violence (children), to the United States Constitution, and to the love of God in Jesus Christ: “Dear concerned student; I’m not allowed in schools. God.”
The meme – and its implication – is not only cynical but deeply contemptuous to the victims of violence (children), to the United States Constitution, and to the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Believe me, God is present in and with every child of God who walks through the school doors. When I served as a teacher in Florida I sat at the desk of each student before school started and prayed for them. God was deeply involved in every lesson I taught, and every interaction I had with every child. That remains true in the public schools today, as literally tens of thousands of teachers and students live their faith the best they can while respecting the constitutional principle that proselytizing is not appropriate in the context of public institutions.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me… Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?… even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Even the darkness… even the depths… even despair… God is there. That’s the promise, that’s the assurance, that’s the truth about faith!
God not allowed in school? Don’t believe it; not for a moment.
Your God is far too small! And your heart is too cold.
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.