These days make writing difficult for me.
So much noise.
So much hate.
So much unrest in our world and I’m guilty of wanting to cover my eyes and my ears to block it all out. Honestly, I don’t want to know what the news media has to say about the terror, the attacks, or the loss of innocent life because those words cut deep. They break my heart. I’m sorry I feel that way. They make me feel like I’m not safe to walk into my classroom and teach, or to worship at my large church where many people will be gathered, or to spend a night out on the town for fear that I may be next- another one. Let me be very clear. It isn’t that I’m afraid to die or that I’m afraid to live life fully. It’s simply that I hate knowing that no matter where I am I may not be safe. And for anyone, that is very scary.
As I went out to dinner the other night I caught myself thinking about how easily the street I walked down could be a target. Literally hundreds of people crowded the narrow path. I remember a time when thoughts like that would never have crossed my mind but times are very different and today, these thoughts require no imagination. It has become a reality too close to home.
As the Christian community watches and often [it seems] feels the need to engage in the debate of who and what matters and this love vs. hate ideology, I wonder what Jesus would say to us. I wonder if He would be pleased with us or if His eyes would be misty with tears of heartbreak. I wonder if He’d say that we represented Him well or if He would rather not comment because we’ve exercised our own free will against His. I’m shocked at the comments I’ve read from some of my Christian brothers and sisters. I’m sad that even as members of the same family, we don’t agree and our words sometimes hurt more than they heal. I’m sorry for that. And then there’s those of us who have chosen to say nothing at all. We’ve silenced our voices on the matter because we simply don’t know what to say or maybe its because we’ve become numb to it all. And if that be the case- I’m sorry. We hurt on the inside, but expressing love on the outside is much more difficult when we’re unsure if what we say or do will be received well. No matter where we look there’s another side to the debate. There’s another voice shouting. Another fist raised in the air. Another shade of hate that rears its ugly head in the midst of chaos.
And then there’s me. I honestly don’t have words. I’ve prayed about whether or not I should speak or if silence is better. I’ve thought hard about all sides of the issue and tried to hear God speak to my heart through a whisper in a sea of shouts from the world. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to end it. I don’t know what to do to help it. But I do know this.
I know God is in control and He isn’t surprised. (Isaiah 45:6-7)
I know that God is love. (1 John 4:8)
I know that God brings peace. (Psalm 29:11)
I know that God has a plan in all of this. (Psalm 33:11)
I know that God is with me. (Isaiah 41:10)
I know that Satan will not win. (1 John 3:8)
I know that you and I, although we feel helpless and lost and scared, have a choice to make. Will we take a side, raising our own fist in the air and exchange our own shouts with the world? Or will we be silent and choose to listen before we talk? Will we speak when our heart has heard from God first so that our words would be an extension of hope and healing from our Father? I want my life to speak louder than my words…I want to live love. I want to live like all lives matter-because they do. I want to live like I have faith even if that costs me everything.
And so while I realize that the world outside is a dangerous and scary place today, let us believers, brothers and sisters in Christ, not be afraid to live among the darkness and bring light and love and hope and healing to a lost generation. Let us not be conformed into believing that we too must fight back and take a side, but let us love loud with our actions and let us simply live. I know that it isn’t the world that brings peace or the satisfaction that comes from the support of one side or the other, but the truth that we can be free in Christ.
Friends, we are loved by a God that created us and knows even the depths of our heart. He knows when we hurt and when we just don’t have the words, He does. When we are afraid, he brings peace. And when these days are over…God will win.