I am not sure even where to begin. The past several months have left me with such a deep burden but also anger within me. I’d like to say it was one thing that I could just deal with and be done. But truth of the matter is that I ache today and have for the recent history because I am grieved…deeply grieved by what I see and hear happening all across not just this country but the world. Too many times this year I have found myself weeping in utter pain for the brokenness that has happened.
This year has been one heck of a year. Between the wildfires in Australia to tornadoes and hurricanes and explosions, we have seen catastrophic loss. With Covid-19 making its way globally, we have watched as the world has tried to figure out how to win, all the while worldwide economy, educational systems, and healthcare systems are just trying to make it. And nationally, we have watched as some shootings and killings, police and non-police, make the news…again. From those, we have watched as further division takes place wreaking havoc on our cities, on our communities, and in our homes. Loss of lives, loss of buildings and homes, loss of businesses.
That’s where I find myself. I am grieved by the loss we have watched this year. By the destruction both natural and man made. But that’s not where it ends for me. I am further grieved and even angry by the division I see among Christians. I am not writing this to speak to one side of the political aisle. I am not speaking to only whites or only blacks. I am speaking to the people who read this, whatever your race, whatever your politics, whatever your hurt is…we have got to do and be better.
We are too busy wanting to be right than we are willing to listen to the opposing side. We are so quick to speak in our anger, that we fail to wait for more information. We are so quick to condemn anyone who disagrees or believes differently, even those that are unsure of what they believe. Why? Why?
Where is our love? Our joy? Our patience? Our kindness? Our goodness? Our faithfulness? Our gentleness? Our self-control? These are the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). It isn’t conditional on our circumstances. It also isn’t barring you from being angry. It isn’t saying to not respond to the things of this world. But it is something that we need especially when the chaos of this world is overwhelming. We need to the Holy Spirit in our lives to bring us this fruit. We need the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom with how and even when to respond to things. Our Christian faith is not about apathy or praying away problems. It is, however, about prayerfully responding in a way that honors Jesus Christ.
In your anger of things happening lately, are you praying about it first?
In your frustration and even disappointment or anger to those that believe differently than you, are you praying for God to show how to still be kind?
In whatever emotions you feel with pretty much anything from this year, are your remaining self-controlled so that God is honored? Again this absolutely isn’t saying to not respond, but to not allow your emotions to be the response.
In all things we do, we are to point people to the Good News- the Gospel- of Jesus Christ. And we need to especially do that with the chaos and the brokenness of this world. We have the greatest joy and hope to offer those around us and we should be ashamed if in the wake of all that happened we have failed to share that joy and hope. People are hurting. People are angry. People are aching for more than any president, politician, organization or aid has to offer.
So when we go into our communities, when we bring aid after a storm, when we see a death make the news, when we see the news remain silent, when we see someone post something on social media we disagree with, when we see someone of a different race respond differently…
…Be immediate to pray. Slow to speak. Quick to listen. And ask God for wisdom in how respond. And in all things, show people Jesus.