Psalm 25: 19 See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me.
As I watch the news in recent weeks I am heartbroken at the nature of people. The Godless and loveless actions of people is heart wrenching. But it is nothing new. This kind of hate, judgement, persecution and evil has been around us since the beginning. This is not a new thing. So I do we overcome? How as Christians, as humans, bounce back, press on, lean in to do justice and mercy. To love, to serve, to give, to heal.
I am saddened by the events in Orlando, Louisiana, Minneapolis, Chicago (the list goes on) over the last few weeks. I am grieving for all people for those who are cast out, for those who feel so threatened by another’s skin tone or sexual preference that they are swift to act out their hate. We say “Love has no color” Well the same goes for the hate. It has no color, no gender, no warning signal, no way to decipher where or when it’s going to happen. It’s bred in the shadows, it lurks in the darkness, and this evil conceals itself in seemingly harmless people… There is no identifying it until it is too late. This kind of hate is not new, look at Cain and Abel, the story of Moses. These themes are not new, the characters and events change, but the story remains the same. When one person’s color, gender or status threatens another person’s it ends in tragedy. Senseless violence and killing.
My children are getting older. The older they get the less “control” I have over them. As babies they are under my watchful eye. At 5 we send them to school and for 7 hours a day we have to trust they are cared for and safe. At 10, 11, 12 they want more freedom to play and roam and make decisions for themselves. At 16 they can drive off. At 18, they leave the nest. How do we protect them? We practice stranger danger, the buddy system. They have phones so they can check in. We join forces with other parents. We do all we can do to protect them, but in reality we are not in control. There are influences greater than us, ones we cannot see or hear. Ones we don’t even anticipate. It’s a terrifying time.
As I read the passages my hope comes from this. The teaching of the bible, the lessons of God’s love and care. The influence of the church and its people. We have these tools to help us make wise choices, to help us identify Satan and evil doers, we have scripture to lean on when tragedy occurs. We have to hope and pray that the Love of God fills our hearts, and those of others. For every evil act there is also good. The key is to identify the good in others and nurture it. Practice God’s love every day. In the face of adversity and hate practice love and acceptance. Those that act out of hate, or ignorance will not prosper. We cannot meet ignorance with ignorance we must rise above. Proverb 19:11 The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding will soon prosper.