So, it’s back to school time.
Time for laptops and lunch money, haircuts and hairdos, binders and books, bedtimes and buses…but is it time for a bulletproof backpack?
Nearly every day, there are news stories of people arrested with arsenals of weapons, many of whom are youth with plans to harm students at their school or university. It’s terrifying, it’s sad, but it’s a fact.
So as the parent of students in both high school and college, what’s a mom to do?
I see bulletproof backpacks on sale and I wonder if I should buy two. I wonder if they actually work. I wonder what the odds are that if, God forbid, a mass murderer were in their midst, they would actually be shot in the back at the precise time they were wearing their backpack. And I know that during a typical high school day, that’s hardly ever.
But I love my babies!
And I wonder if having a chance to stop a bullet is better than no chance at all. And I think maybe, if they needed it, they could just whip it off their back and put it in front of whatever body part they needed to protect.
And I think of how my heart aches for every parent who has lost a child. How I can’t imagine the grief that comes from suffering the greatest pain a human will ever endure. And as I pray for their comfort and strength, the backpack idea seems like a good one.
So I search online for these bulletproof backpacks and I see there’s a huge price range. But what’s too much to protect your kids? $49.99 or $180? Really, no cost is too great. So my budget will just have to absorb it.
Ironically, the first ad to come up under backpacks is from Under Armour, a trusted name brand that many youth like. A further look shows that the backpack is not being advertised as bulletproof; it’s just an ad for a nice backpack on sale.
But the name Under Armour starts swirling in my head, over and over again. It disrupts my train of thought and I rise from my laptop, literally shaking my head, because I just can’t get the words to disappear. “Under Armour” is flashing across my field of vision like NASDAQ updates. And it just keeps going and going.
And suddenly it hits me that, bulletproof backpack or not, my children are always Under Armour. Because not a day passes that my husband and I don’t pray for the safety of our children. Not a single day.
Each morning we pray that they are equipped with the whole armour of God and that no weapon formed against them shall prosper. And we pray for their friends. And we believe that our prayers have power.
We trust that God, who is with them always, will watch over them in ways we cannot. And we believe that no bullet, knife of bomb can pierce God’s shield, unless it is His will.
We can’t control the actions of others and we don’t know which youth or adults are mentally unstable, bullied, angry or just plain hateful. And the world is comprised of them all.
So, instead of a backpack, we’re choosing to trust in the One who does, to keep our children always under armour. And we pray that, one day, there won’t be a need for any child to wear Kevlar to school.
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