Good and Light

It has been a difficult few months with the number of senseless killings. It is sometimes difficult for me to stay positive in the face of these atrocities. The atmosphere appears very divisive at the moment--police vs. African Americans, Islamic terrorists vs. the rest of the world, heterosexual vs. gays, etc. If God is our father then we are all brothers and sisters in Christ--all spokes of the same wheel and everyone is our family. If everyone could see that we are all family I believe a lot would change. There would be no “them” to hate, ridicule or oppress. If the “them” was not a faceless stranger but your brother or sister maybe there would be more room for tolerance and empathy.

When hearing of these events I think a common reaction is fear which probably stems from a feeling helplessness. I know I felt an initial pang of fear and helplessness and pure sadness and disbelief. I even asked God “what is going on in the world?” I immediately recognized that was a ridiculous question because this is behavior that is not from God. This is from the darkness. And I can give into the darkness or fight it. I did some soul searching to try and make some sense of it all. For me that came in the form of remembering that, yes, these horrible things happened and are happening, but there is also a lot of good in the world—it is just not reported on the news. The bad always seems to take front and center and the good goes unreported. So it is important for me to think about and remember the good. It might even outnumber the bad.

I also know that one way to fight the darkness is with light. So the one thing I can do is fight the darkness with light which comes from embodying God’s love. Coincidentally, I was at a Peter Gabriel concert and he sang a song for a friend of his that was assassinated. The chorus of his song was “Love will heal” and he ended with the words “Give into love.” That sent chills up my spine as he spoke the thoughts that had been running through my head earlier into the day.

In Eugene Peterson’s The Message 2 John 4: 17-21 he writes: “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry…There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved… If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.”

The song by Black Eyed Peas “Where is the love” has been playing in my head as well. A portion of the lyrics are:

But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah

Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates

Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?

Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
'Cause people got me, got me questionin'
Where is the love (Love)

Where is the love (The love) [2x]
Where is the love, the love, the love

So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin' in
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover

The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love

Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

So, brothers and sisters, give into love—love will heal.

Kelley Evans

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