Love Wins

This has been a rough week. And I haven’t had to face the loss of a family member like several in our God’s Grace family have experienced. But if the terror attacks in Paris weren’t enough to put us in a bad frame of mind, the responses of fear and desire for vengeance on the part of many political leaders and would-be leaders have pushed me over the edge. I get depressed when I hear calls not only for crushing ISIS, but also calls to totally ignore the innocent refugees from Syria and Iraq who are fleeing the same violence and terror that has destroyed their homes and communities. As Pastor Dave asked yesterday, how do we square that with the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, blessing the meek, those who mourn and the peacemakers? What does it mean for me to be a person of peace in a violent world? And how do I keep myself from going into a deep funk about the state of the world?

I have been asking myself what has the ability to turn my sadness into hope. I realize that I am surprised to see that out of the same horrible situations come moments and examples of grace, where a simple act of human kindness shines in contrast to the depressing evil that people are capable of. Seeing a frightened Muslim immigrant warmly welcomed by a French neighbor, or a community stretching its resources to help refugees find safety and a new life are things that give me hope. And those things are happening all around us.

We aren’t able to do a great deal to solve the Syrian refugee crisis or to do much of anything to try to defeat terrorism with love, but we are able to show love for our neighbor here in the South Denver metro area. Maybe it is shoveling snow or offering to go to the store for a neighbor who has a hard time getting out. Maybe it is showing interest in a young person who feels insignificant or isolated at school. Maybe it is preparing a Thanksgiving basket for a Paris Elementary School family, many of whom are recent immigrants. It doesn’t need to be big. Hearing the Rock Canyon band director and student conductor thank God’s Grace for what was not a terribly large gift reminded me that simple acts of kindness increase the love not only in our corner of the world, but in the world as a whole.

My prayer is that each of us will be able to focus on both the acts of love we see around us, and on the opportunities that are before us to share in those simple acts. When we think on these things, we are reminded that Love does win, and that God enables us to live not in fear but in love.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

Dave Erickson-Pearson

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Mark Autterson wrote:
Thanks for your thoughts Dave E-P.

Hey GGCC folks. Any thoughts of adding links to these devos so they can be shared on social media like FB or Twitter?

Tue, November 17, 2015 @ 1:18 PM

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